Alicia McBride, Director for Communications
|Alicia Mcbride with her husband Sam Garman and their daughter, Miranda looking over the parade route.|
My family and I watched the inauguration from an apartment overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, along with dozens of other people who couldn't turn down our friend's invitation to share her view over the parade route. We could hear Obama take the oath of office, broadcast on loudspeakers down the length of the Mall, if we opened the balcony door. During the parade, we watched on television until we saw the new president getting close, then we all rushed outside to watch in person. We were rewarded with the sight of Barack and Michelle Obama walking and waving - and we suddenly understood why we'd had to hand over photo IDs weeks ahead of time to be able to be in the building. Rumor was that Tobey McGuire, Spiderman himself, was turned away from the building because he wasn't on The List.
I'm not by nature a crowds person. Publicity in DC in the run-up to the inauguration emphasized the negatives: the numbers of people expected, the cold, the potential for jammed trains and buses going into the city. Had it just been me, I probably would have been disuaded and found a place to watch it all on TV.
I went because of my 2-year-old daughter. I wanted to be able to tell her that she was there, that she saw Barack Obama become president and chart a new course for the country. What Obama does in the next 4 years is going to determine the kind of country she grows up in. I thought it was important to both of us that she be there at the beginning.