WASHINGTON, D.C. – It is an experience that can be had only once every four years on Jan. 20 in one city.
That day was on Friday this year, when Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States.
All over Washington, D.C., people woke early and prepared for an historic day.
“I think it’s history, and everyone should experience it once in their lifetime. At the end of the day, we are all Americans,” said Robyn Porter, of Washington, D.C.
Members of Congress and the public were not divided by party in their seating, and were united by their love of country.
Throughout the day, cheers of “Trump, Trump, Trump” and “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.” could be heard down the length of the National Mall.
Kyle Dallabetta, whose grandfather owned the land that is now Dallabetta Park, and who now lives in Loveland, came to support the women in his family at the Women’s March on Washington. “Although I didn’t come for the inauguration, it has been fun to be here and be a part of it,” Dallabetta said.
Although the crowds supporting the new president largely consisted of white men, there were children, teenage girls and men and women of color, too.
The new president addressed prejudice in his inaugural address: “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”
For those who were at their first inauguration, or their 10th, it was a unique experience.
“My dad was a member of Congress for more than 20 years. This is my first inauguration even though he was in office for so many years,” Porter said.
Some partisanship was shown. During Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech, boos could be heard. When the camera panned to Hillary Clinton, calls to “lock her up” rang out.
While President Trump took the oath of office, six protesters stood on their chairs and shouted chants such as “we the people, will never be divided.”
And as he began his inaugural address, rain, which had held back most of the morning, started to fall.
Trump focused on what he wanted to do for the people of the country, and it was met with applause and cheering. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s only going to be only America first,” Trump said.
“I’ve enjoyed (the inauguration) immensely. I thought that President Trump gave a tremendous speech. I think that he wants to be the people’s president, and I hope that he will fulfill those promises,” said Nila Ridings of Overland Park, Kansas.
Whether people came to support President Trump or march for a cause, they agreed that the positive inauguration experience was not divided by party lines.
“I think that everyone has been very friendly and kind to each other,” Ridings said.
Molly Lepore, a member of a group in Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March on Washington, who is from Denver, said, “Mostly it has been a really positive experience. We’ve had a few people who have been negative, but even supporters from Trump have been responding to us in a fairly positive way.”
Shira Stein is a reporting intern for the Herald in Washington, D.C., and a student at American University. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @stein_shira.