Rachel Israelsen writes, This article is submitted after a very long day by two eyewitness reporters – Connor Pearson and Rachel Israelsen.

This article is submitted after a very long day by two eyewitness reporters – Connor Pearson and Rachel Israelsen. Our mission? To see Obama sworn in as our 44th President. Our alarm went off at 4:15am. We threw on some clothes, grabbed some breakfast and flew out the door.4:15am was nowhere near early enough to beat the lines.We started out by walking to what we thought was the line to get onto the Mall. We stood in that line until they closed it and then began walking to another entrance which ended up being a parade route and not an entrance. We then went to another entrance only to find out that it was closed. We are on a school tour and even with tourguides we spent 3 hours walking around DC and we were finally able to enter near the Washington Monument and learned that the Mall was plugged with people and hundreds of porta-potties (giant blue anti-air-freshners). We waited, listened to music coming from really, really big TV’s called Jumbo Trons and tried to stay warm. We podcasted and interviewed people at the Inauguration and found people who came from all over the world. I (Rachel) interviewed a woman from Panama who came because our Presidential election was important to Panama and she wanted to be part of history and see the US put in an African American President. I (Connor) interviewed a college age guy who was hanging in a tree with a Hope Poster hoping to create the illusion that hope grew on trees. He said he wanted people to notice him. He said he wanted to go to college to get a good job but couldn’t afford it and was there to cheer for Obama in the hopes that tuition prices would go down so he could go to college. One of the most popular souveniers on the streets was hand warmers. These were among the t-shirts, bookmarks, buttons, calendars, flags, pictures, newspapers, programs and jewelry. I even saw a woman selling hand-made Obama earrings. Finally, the inauguration began and there were many speeches and musical numbers. They were all moving but the one I (Rachel) liked the best was Obama’s speech because he promised that he would do a bunch of things that our country needs. I (Connor) thought that Obama’s speech was the best out of all of them. Standing in the huge crowd was interesting. When different people were introduced, the crowd would cheer and comment. When President Bush was introduced, the crowd began booing and singing “na, na, na, na, hey, hey,hey, good-bye…” This made me (Connor) feel like even though Bush wasn’t a very good president, it was still disrespectful to boo. I (Rachel) thought that Bush was our President and we voted him in and I wondered why we booed him even though we had voted him in twice. Maybe Aretha Franklin should have sung “RESPECT” instead of God Bless America -which rocked!!! It took us longer to get out of DC than it did to get in but the blisters, cold fingers, red runny noses, and standing around were worth it because we were part of history today and we felt proud to be American and watch incoming and outgoing Presidents stand together peacefully. Even though our economy is horrible, most people today believed Obama will lead us out of this and we can get anew start. Our next mission? Attending the 2013 Inauguration and hoping it is not mission impossible….


  1. That’s so fabulous!
    That’s so fabulous! I hope you two had a blast – are you related? Friends? With a school trip?

  2. Wow!
    Wow!!!! That must have been really fun. I have the same question as below, so could you tell me? What a great story!

  3. Connor and I are not rela…
    Connor and I are not related we met on this trip but I guess you could say that we’re friends. We were on a school trip with different schools and we got this assignment to write about together.

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