I wanted to go up into the Lincoln Memorial. However, there seemed to be a private viewing area near the entrance (the upper stairs) to the Lincoln Memorial. So, I stayed on the lower stairs which were open to the public and had plenty of space.
I couldn't see the Lincoln Statue from where I was, but I tried to take a few pictures of where I thought it was. At least one attempt turned out pretty well!
I sat in the sun on the stairs for over an hour, listening to the PA system. I couldn't quite see a Jumbotron from where I was, but that was OK. I read the paper and just soaked it all in for a while. It was nice to see the crowd without being in the middle of it.
Here's the crowd for the nearby Jumbotron. I didn't feel the need to see all those introductions, so I stayed seated and applauded occasionally.
I managed to get a shot of the Capitol (about 1.5 miles away), but it was about half-blocked by the Washington Monument. While the Mall in front of the Capitol is pretty flat for well over half a mile, you can see the hill that the Washington Monument sits on pretty well from this shot. The reason there were so many people at the bottom of the hill was there were a few Jumbotrons in that area.
While I'd volunteered to help during Inauguration weekend, I was not selected. *sigh* I had heard that the Obama committee got about 10 times more volunteers than what they needed. The volunteers all wore red caps (now that's a great souvenir!).
It was gratifying to not hear many cheers for the soon-to-be-ex-president Bush, the soon-to-be-ex-vice president Cheney, and the homophobic Rick Warren who was there to give the invocation. I heard there was some booing, but I heard little of that out where I was. As soon as Diane Feinstein, the chair of the Inaugural Committee, was introduced, I started to walk towards the end of the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool, to get within eyeshot of one of the other Jumbotrons. As I was one one of the many people to suggest the quiet protest of "Turning Your Back on Rick Warren" (though I can't take any credit for any of the Web sites that sprang up around that idea), I stopped as soon as Rick Warren opened his mouth and turned my back on the Capitol. I may have been the only person near the Lincoln Memorial to do this, but I'm glad I did.
© 2009 Photos by Laurie D. T. Mann