20 January 2009

Settling in to Watch

I eventually settled in to watch across the street from the Washington Monument. It was toward the back of one of the massive sections that were blocked off so there was more room to move around. The Marine Corps band was playing the whole time, and thanks to the great sound system we could hear the music even though we were quite far away. They played lots of music that would be familiar to any band geek -- Washington Post, Liberty Bell, National Emblem, Hail Columbia, and at least one Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Washington Monument

It was amazing to me that so many people were so happy to be standing there in the cold waiting for this. Not even any of the children that I saw seemed to be unhappy about having been dragged along with grandparents and parents -- I don't think I saw a single hand-held video game. There was so much to see and hear, and there was very much a feeling of shared experience. I saw a member of the National Guard bring hot popcorn to one of the people waiting because the popcorn cart was in a different section and he couldn't let her cross the barricade. They were very strict about not letting people move around very much.

IMG_2440 The Jumbotron
The Jumbotron Cute kid and dad

I knew that there were going to be Jumbotrons there, but I had no idea how well I would be able to hear everything that was happening. All of the arriving dignitaries were announced, and we were able to hear all of the speeches and performances that preceeded the swearing-in. And then, it was finally time!

The trumpet fanfare in the background after the oath that you might be able to hear beneath all of the cheering people are Ruffles and Flourishes. The President gets four repetitions, followed by "Hail to the Chief". ;-)

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