Nick Vaughn, Staff Writer
Washington, D.C.- Last Friday was not your average day. Normally, Fridays at school would include me attending classes or having a grilled cheese at lunch with my friends or if I am at home you could catch me simply going about my daily activities.
Last Friday, however, was not that kind of Friday, because I had the honor of attending the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. As I woke up that Friday morning and I looked out my window to see a cloudy and rainy Washington, D.C., I couldn’t believe that I was actually there.
One moment I will never forget was walking from the metro and seeing the beautiful Capitol dome get closer and closer. As my friends and I were going through the gates, pass security, and then to our seats, it hit me. We had a front row vantage point to history.
I was sitting there thinking while the Marine Band played and as the former Presidents and First Ladies walked out onto the Inaugural platform, “How am I here?”
During that moment, I began to reflect on my last year. I had felt pretty lucky. Lucky to be able to not just watch history on television like I have done for years which inspired me to get involved in the first place but to witness history first hand. To live the history that would be talked about centuries from now.
In the past year I had the opportunities to attend a Presidential Debate in the primaries; the Republican National Convention; where the now President accepted the nomination; and now on January 20, the Inauguration.
One of the most vivid moments of my experience was when President-Elect Trump was announced and walked out on the platform, then all you could hear was the voices and cheers of Americans from all walks of life, backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, and religions behind me. It felt like there was a heavy force against my back, that kept me from standing still.
The swearing-in and speech was absolutely incredible to see and hear. Plus, to have friends beside me, and all around me, made it all the more incredible.
The line in President Trump’s speech that I loved the most was, “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” In order to produce results for our country and we will, we must work together.
At the close of what was a beautiful ceremony with a few drops of “good luck” rain, we ended by praying for our country. Afterwards, it was time to head back and prepare for the Inaugural Ball that evening.
It wasn’t until we arrived at the ball, that I realized how massive the crowd actually was. The Ball was absolutely spectacular. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I met many journalists, celebrities, and politicians. It was also special to see old friends there and make some new ones as well. My favorite run-in of the night had to be meeting CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper. As a matter of fact, we took a selfie that absolutely made my night.
Another great moment was when the band played “Hail to the Chief” and the President and the First Lady emerged, the huge crowd was electrified. I remember being so close and seeing all those phones in the air taking pictures and videos, mine included and thinking to myself, “just enjoy the moment.” So for two minutes I completely put the phone away and took in the moment of history before me. As the President and the First Lady danced to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, my all time favorite song coincidentally, I felt so honored to be there.
On a personal note, I learned a lot this weekend. About myself and the future, things I knew before, but needed reminding of in some way. I was reminded that if you work hard and keep pushing through hard times, as we have all experienced, it will look up and things will turn around. As for now I’m going to enjoy the moment.
In closing, I ask of my fellow students and Americans who are not supportive of this President a simple task: Give the President a chance, because he is our President. Support him when you think he’s right and fight back when you think he’s wrong. Pick up the mantle of leadership. Get involved in either party you agree with and try to change things for the better however you view.
Always remember America’s best days are ahead of us.
Edited by: Brea Childs