Apart of History, or The Day I Didn't Go To The Inauguration
So I was invited to go to the inauguration, or, more accurately, to go to Washington D.C. and be in the proximity of the inauguration. A teacher at my school, in a prescient move, made hotel reservations last January
right near the action. He also got tickets--not enough to go around for me or the teacher who invited me to go and share the room with them, but she didn't want to stand in the crowd alone. She e-mailed me to invite me, and closed with the line, 'BE A PART OF HISTORY!'
At first, I was flattered and excited. What an opportunity! I asked her some questions about travel plans and cost, and was all ready to say yes, but said I had to think it over for one night.
Then I went online. And read some of the following fun facts about attending the inauguration:
- Be prepared to walk several miles, possibly in cold, wet weather. Among the items banned by security are umbrellas.
- Plan to stand for five, six, even seven hours.
- You may be about four blocks from the event itself, and you may not have a direct line of sight. But there will be large video screens, so everyone can see and hear what's going on.
- Estimates vary, but at least 1 million people are expected to attend. (The district's new estimate is around 2 million.) There will be 5,000 portable toilets.
- The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) has issued a warning about "crush-level crowds" and "crush capacity" public transportation during the event.
- The inauguration is an attractive target for international and domestic terrorists, but U.S. intelligence officials have no information about specific threats.
- The major bridges that connect Washington with northern Virginia will be closed to everything but mass transit and pedestrians.
So are you surprised that I wussed out? I feel kind of crappy about it, but recalling my recent experience at the Bowery Ballroom (see 'Cranky McGram Gram' below), I knew I would just hate it, and then still have to watch it on TV.