After photographing President Obama’s first inauguration four years ago, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see how his second would compare. The crowd started out smaller this time and ended up being about two thirds of the size of 2009’s, which still meant that the National Mall was packed and spilling around the grounds of the Washington Monument. There was again an air of excitement, though maybe a bit more measured. For my part, I again had a great time, met some lovely people, and walked about 6 miles throughout the day. Once again I also can’t seem to tell the story in fewer than 60 photos, so grab a beverage and settle in! I’ll chime in with a little context along the way.
The World War II and Lincoln Memorials both had people draped all over them four years ago, and the West side of the Washington Monument was packed.
About a million people eventually filled in, mostly out of my sight on the National Mall but with a great turnout around the Washington Monument too.
I think the Commander in Chief is groovin’ out to James Taylor here.
Independence Avenue was unexpectedly blocked, so I took an impromptu tour of Southwest DC with thousands of my new friends.
This tour took me to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial for the first time, where the day’s general tone of tempered enthusiasm continued.
And finally, the long walk across the Potomac River to the Arlington National Cemetery metro station.
Six or seven full trains later, I found a spot big enough for me and my cameras. Like last time, it was a challenging day, but I hope to continue this tradition as long as I can.