I realize that I haven’t comment much on the effect of the inauguration here in the metro D.C. area. Part of the reason is that I am trying to stay far away from it all. I am thrilled that Obama is going to become President, and I am anxiously awaiting the noon hour–where I can watch the event from the comfort of my house, safely away from the crowds and the cold weather.
People have flooded into the area. Two million are expected. My office closed tomorrow in anticipation of traffic and weather problems. All bridges from Virginia into the District are closed to regular traffic. Major highways are shutdown, including the one that runs right by our house. Parking, even out here in Arlington, is supposed to be a nightmare (fortunately, we have a garage). The Metro is running 8 car trains and longer hours but even so is expected to be crowded.
But watching the people, listening to those who have traveled a long way (and not just distance) to get here, well, it’s inspiring, and all I can say is that there’s something in the air here. People are saying that Obama has a lot to live up to, and some people say it as if he can’t possibly meet the expectations that have been set. But just imagine if he can.
In some ways, tomorrow marks a kind of turning point in recent American history. It makes me think of what it must have been like for Americans (and the world) when World War II finally came to anend. Now the pieces can be put back together. Now the eight years of anxiety can be put to bed.
What a relief!