After a long night of celebratory campaign reunions (patriotic bunting and ironic “Mission Accomplished” banners were two recurring decorative themes), my sister, a couple friends and I left her apartment on Capitol Hill to make our way down to the Lincoln Memorial for the Inaugural celebration concert. If one did not know the way there, it was easy to ascertain by watching the mass of people heading down Pennsylvania Avenue to the 17th Street entrances. Memorabilia vendors lined the sidewalks hawking all manner of Obama-related merchandise.
Concrete barriers and eight-foot-high panels of interlocking grates had been set up along some of the sidewalks lining the section of the city to be closed off for Tuesday’s Inaugural parade; stacks of unassembled grates were piled up on street corners. Out-of-place, camouflaged humvees sat idling in the middle of blocked-off intersections; equally incongruous MPs directed cars and pedestrians. I was amused to see my first motorcycle with a sidecar outside of a Disney movie and surprised to encounter US Customs and Border Patrol agents at the official staging area entry point.
Clearly, this was no ordinary Bruce Springsteen concert.
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Picture credit: Presidential Inaugural Committee (via Flickr)