The Capitol lawn, Purple Ticket Section, Inauguration Morning
Reported as the largest event in Washington DC’s history, with an official number of 1.8 million people in one place at one time, the swearing in ceremony on the steps of the American Capitol had without a doubt an important impact on the psyche of the nation. If one succeeds at tuning out the constant chatter of paranoid and soul sapping cable news and the punditry that can be so cluttered and cyclical as to rob itself of all meaning, one would be rewarded with an uncertain and anxious but, indeed, optimistic chorus of people, citizens of this country and others, touching the sands of a new shore after what could have been a very long and story voyage through dark waters.
Shannon and I, taking advantage of the fact that we are both from rural Minnesota, were honored with tickets from Congressperson Collin Peterson, giving us access to an area just behind the seated section at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and the stage where the ceremonies were conducted. We stood on the north side of the lawn, nearby the canons, which we became well aware of when the 21 gun salute surprised us, rumbling through the silence just after the weight of the recitation of the Oath of Office effectively put a hush over the entire National Mall and its millions of enraptured visitors.