I was there. Among the estimated 1.8 million people on the National Mall. It was an experience like no other. It was cold. It was fun. It was something I will never ever forget.
It was a four day weekend in 2009. We attended the We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial. We shared the city with more people than I knew could fit into Washington, DC. We made a no-Metro rule that weekend. Lots and lots of walking.
It was exhausting, but worth every moment. I can’t remember what god-awful early hour we got up at on the morning of Inauguration, but let’s just say we hadn’t gone to bed early so it barely mattered. We put on lots and lots of layers and started the mile walk to the National Mall. We listened to an historic speech. I have never been in a crowd like that before. Everyone was so excited to be there. People didn’t care how cold it was. They just didn’t want to miss history.
After the ceremony we had grandeurs of nap time. It took so long to get back to my apartment that we immediately needed to eat and get ready for the Inaugural Ball. Now this was something I was looking forward to. I love my dress so, so much. (I’m always looking for an excuse to wear it again. It hasn’t happened yet.) We went to the ball, we danced, we had fun with friends. we couldn’t really believe the weekend was coming to an end.
After a weekend of parties, events, little sleep, and experiencing history it was time to go back to reality. I think we were ready. I don’t remember the rest of that week. I’m sure it wasn’t anything special: work and classes. But those four days of Inaugural events will always be a very special time to me. I feel lucky that I was living in DC and got to experience it all.
I sit here four years later and can’t really believe that last four years have gone by so quickly. So much happened. So much changed. I’m a different person than that girl who attended Inauguration 2009. I’m okay with that. I think I have grown up a lot since then. I think I know myself better.