People traveled to Washington, D.C., from around the country to witness the transition of power to the 45th president of the United States. Amid celebration and clashes, a few faces stood out. Watching giant screens, blocks away from the incoming president, these people braved crowds and weather to watch history being made.
Ken Crider and his wife, Penny
City of Residence: Detroit area
Crider has a hat signed by Ted Cruz. Well, it began that way. Crider, an elector for Michigan, sported a wide cowboy hat spotted with signatures, mostly of political figures, while attending the inauguration.
“Once I got Ted Cruz’s signature on here as a guest, being as my wife was a delegate, I started walking around the convention center, seeing how many I could get.”
These include Rudy Giuliani, Ben Carson and freshly-inaugurated President Donald Trump, to name a few.
City of Residence: Washington, D.C., student at George Washington University
Zielinski wiped away tears as Trump made his oath. She said she didn’t think there was any cause for celebration; she said she felt “very disturbed” by the new administration.
“Any surrealism that people were feeling was wiped away. This is real. This isn’t going away.”
Even so, she believes it was important to attend the event as part of the “American experience.”
“I wanted to hear what he had to say and see how it goes,” she said. “And I do live in D.C. now, so I can’t really ignore it.”
Russell (left) and Wayne Bargiel
Ages: Russell, 65; Wayne, 61
City of Residence: Maywood and Saddle Brook, N.J.
The two brothers have had their fair share of inaugurations. Though they can’t remember the exact number each have attended, Russell believes he’s seen six. They have no party affiliations, but like to see the festivities. And for whoever the next president may be after Trump, the two say they hope to see him or her sworn in.
“I’m planning on it,” Russell said. “God willing.”
City of Residence: Washington, D.C.
Nasr is the founder of Werk For Peace, a queer grassroots organization that uses dance to promote peace. By 8:30 a.m., he was leading a group of supporters in dancing in the front of an entrance gate at F and 11th streets.
This is his first time protesting at a presidential inauguration and he says he’s very happy with the turnout.
“We have completely blocked the checkpoint to get in. And we are here, we are queer, and we will dance. Hallelujah.”
City of Residence: Southern California, student at Yorba Linda High School
As Presidents Trump and Obama took their car ride from the White House to the Capitol, Quidore watched the screen on the National Mall with friends. After flying across the country to attend, he was initially a little nervous about the day’s event, but ultimately felt being at the inauguration was surreal.
“I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be able to experience this kind of thing, especially at my age. And I really appreciate the opportunity that I have to be able to see something as great as this in person.”
City of Residence: Amissville, Va.
Dickey can’t remember the only other inauguration she attended, when she was a child, but she knows she wanted to be here for this one specifically. In the next presidential term, she said, she’s looking for a lot of change: health care premiums coming down, encouragement of the right to life, and a jump-start for many businesses.
“I just wanted to be here because I think it’s a historical moment. I just wanted to support him.”
Roger Scott (left) and Daniel Shaw
Ages: Scott, 48; Shaw, 38
City of Residence: Washington, D.C.
Inaugurations are not a new thing for Scott. He said he’s attended several inaugurations, always as a protester.
“Democrat or Republican, both parties are taking orders from the same billionaires and millionaires,” Scott said. “And so we’re here to say that we’re going to fight that every step of the way.”
City of Residence: Gilman, Minn.
Kelash and her friends joked about attending the inauguration at a New Year’s celebration. And the next day, they decided something so that the far-fetched idea didn’t have to stay a joke.
In the end, the friends took a 32-hour bus ride to get to D.C., and Kelash says she feels “overwhelmed with pride for the country.”
“We’ve never done anything like this before. None of us have ever been in Washington. We milk cows. We come from a town [with] a population of 211 people, so this is overwhelming.”
City of Residence: Cleveland, Ohio
Moore is no stranger to selling Trump paraphernalia; he says he’s been to approximately 30 Trump rallies, where he sold buttons, T-shirts and other goods. He was hoping to make $5,000 dollars by the end of the inauguration, but at 7 a.m., he was still waiting on large crowds to show and buy his wares.
“I’m expecting millions. Where they at?”