Sides to collide at Trump inauguration
Friday, Inauguration Day, finally will end this very long era of contentious competition over control of the White House.
Or maybe not.
Around the same time that Donald Trump is solemnly swearing to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, tens of thousands of protesters, still fraught with emotion about the goings on since Nov. 8, will be flooding into the National Mall, colliding with tens of thousands of die-hard supporters of our new president. That clash likely will continue all around the nation’s capitol throughout the day, weekend and, by the looks of things, probably for much, much longer than that.
Politico Magazine last week reported the National Park Service credentialed at least 28 groups on the National Mall and is expecting more than 350,000 people. The magazine said that compares to the five or six requests from groups that they usually receive for presidential inaugurations.
Among the protesters will be about 200,000 women and other protesters who are vowing to sing and fast for the weekend.
The clashes might begin outside the city as warnings are issued about crowds and congestion. The Associated Press reports the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, alerted that travelers should prepare for crowds and congestion beginning Thursday and lasting through Sunday.
Longer-than-usual wait times at airline ticket counters and security checkpoints as well as congestion on airport roads are expected.
More than 50 people from Trumbull and Geauga counties, including nearly three dozen students from Lordstown and Newbury Local Schools, will be braving the elements and the crowds to make the trip to D.C. for Friday’s event.
They probably will not be disappointed with the festivities, as Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised a record $90 million-plus in private donations, far more than both of President Barack Obama’s two inaugural committees. But while Trump has raised more money for his inauguration than any president in history, he says he is aiming to do less with it.
Tom Barrack, Trump’s top inauguration planner, told reporters Tuesday that the president-elect instructed him to make the swearing-in “about the people, not about him,” according to the AP.
“So what we’ve done, instead of trying to surround him with what people consider A-listers, is we are going to surround him with the soft sensuality of the place,” Barrack said. “It’s a much more poetic cadence than having a circus-like celebration that’s a coronation. It will be beautiful. The cadence of it is going to be, ‘Let me get back to work.'”
First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry’s 61st Army Cavalry unit that has fought battles since the American Revolution will escort Trump and march on horseback during the inaugural parade.
The festivities also will include the traditional ride from the White House to the Capitol with his predecessor, but he will break from some of the day’s other customs, trading traditional celebrity appearances for the “soft sensuality” of the historic event.
Some entertainers scheduled to take part are Jackie Evancho, of “America’s Got Talent,” the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes. No details have been announced for the official welcome concert on the eve of the inauguration, beyond a promise to feature “a diverse group of performers.”
Despite the historic nature of this event, I did not give a second thought to staying here for the inauguration. I even resisted the urging from my husband, who really wants to drive to D.C. since it’s on his bucket list to attend a presidential inauguration. Come Friday, though, I plan to be standing in front of the three newsroom television sets, likely set to Fox News, CNN and maybe the Weather Channel for my unobstructed view of this historic event.
There is no doubt it will be a momentous occasion.
Let’s just hope angry reactions like we’ve seen throughout the campaign and since are not the reason why.