“People is all we've seen so far,” said Aaron Allgood,35,who works for a printing company in Hanover,Pa. “We actually had tickets for the silver area,but the line was,like,15 blocks long,so there was no way we could have gotten in by noon.”
He was on the Mall near the Washington Monument,many blocks west of the ticketed standing area near the reflecting pool at the foot of the Capitol. His group said they would find a nearby spot to watch the ceremony on a Jumbotron because they weren't going to be able to use their tickets.
Riley Doherty,10,who attends Johnson Elementary School in Charlottesville,Va.,was underwhelmed by his visit to Washington.
“Well,this is the kid's opinion,” he said. “It was boring. The part I liked is when we took the train. This part is boring.”
He and his family stood in line for 20 minutes to buy hot dogs,hot chocolate and cookies.
“It was hard at first because the wind was blowing,and we were in a big open space. I've never seen this many people” Riley said.
His mother,Lisa Woolfork,38,a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville,came with her husband,Ben Doherty,a librarian at U.Va.,Riley and son Ryan,5. She talked about why they came.
“Obama,definitely,” she said. And the kids didn't have school,and we figured this would be a good thing they would remember. … Even though we're cold,I'm glad we came.”
Jamison Young 27,of Sicklerville, N.J.,watched the inauguration with his son,Julian Young,8,on a Jumbotron near the World War II Memorial.
“It's been great,we really enjoyed it,especially the atmosphere,” said Jamison Young,”He's been doing pretty good,he's got three or four layers on him,” Young said.
Young said he wasn't disappointed that he didn't have tickets.
“To me it's about the atmosphere and everyone being together,” he said.
“Being from Florida we have toe warmers,hand warmers,layers. We've got about five layers,” Gillispie said.
Susan Kennelly,71,of Napa Valley,Calif,said she got off the Metro at 9 a.m. but didn't get to the Mall until 11 a.m. As a result,she wasn't able to use her tickets to the Capitol grounds because the line was nearly a mile long when she got there. She planned to attend the Western states ball Tuesday night.
“I'm absolutely thrilled to be surrounded by my fellow citizens,” she said. “It makes me feel truly proud to be a citizen in the United States.”
Wendy Jacques,39,a teacher from Maplewood,N.J.,and her family left their home at 7 a.m. and arrived at the Mall about 11 a.m. With her were her husband and children,ages 7 and 9,and their best friends.
The children were sitting on the ground near the Washington Monument eating hot dogs. When Jacques asked if they were happy to be in the capital,they cheered in approval.
“We felt that it was such a historical event that we wanted the kids to be here and experience it,” she said. “It wouldn't have been the same if we were watching it from home. The kids couldn't see anything,but they still felt the atmosphere and got to be a part of everything.”