Pilgrims to Washington celebrate something many couldn't see

Lorna Vaughn
Lorna Vaughn

WASHINGTON, D.C (WSFA) - The eyes of the world were on the nation's capitol as history was made with the inauguration of Barack Obama. With an estimated 2 million people trying to get in to see the swearing in of Obama many folks ran into frustrations.

All the while those folks took time to celebrate something they couldn't even see.

Signs around Washington said it best, "Area Full". Security guards standing behind erected gates wouldn't allow any more onlookers in. Andy Bates-Ribezzo, a high school junior, had a spot on the National Mall but chose to get out before the ceremony even started.

"It was cramped. There was barely any room," Ribezzo explained. "...You just had to move with the crowd. There wasn't anyway you could get through."

And the sea of people just kept walking by the thousands, waving at folks on overpasses as they inched closer to the spot where they would eyewitness history. Some quickly found that a bird's eye view would only come if they climbed nearby trees.

For people like Delores Thomas of Georgia, who grew up during the days of segregation, just being in Washington for the festivities was enough. "This means opportunity, freedom and every good thing that all Americans should want," she said as she braved the chilly temperatures.

For many like Lorna Vaughn of Missouri who couldn't actually see Obama take the oath of office, or barely even hear him on the loud speakers, tears still flowed freely. "...It's a new beginning, that this is something that my mother, and my grandmother always dreamed of..." she said choking back tears, "and I'm here to witness it...and be a part of it."