This post was written by Hatchet staff writers James Levinson and Leah Potter.
Hundreds of thousands looked upon the west side of the Capitol building today as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S.
Members of Congress, D.C. residents, college students and tourists joined together on the National Mall to watch the ceremony.
“This is an important historic event,” Isha Rauf, a freshman, said. “It is going to be in the textbooks.”
Rauf said that although she does not agree with Trump’s policies and rhetoric, she decided to attend the historic event, anyway.
One group of high school students traveled from Jonathan Law High School in Connecticut. Anna Saley, a high school senior, said attending an inauguration was “surreal.”
While Saley said she and her friends did not support Trump in the presidential election, they remain optimistic.
“We just have to hope for the best,” Saley said.
Hunter Hopkins, a junior at Starrs Mill high school in Atlanta, said she came to DC through the Close Up Foundation, an organization that hosts high school students interested in politics and debate.
Hopkins said she respects the opinions of the inauguration protesters, but she wishes attendees would have positive outlooks on a new administration.
“I just wish everyone would be positive and wish Trump to succeed even if you don’t agree with him,” Hopkins said. “I mean, that’s just what I think. I respect their opinions, totally. He’s made some mistakes, definitely. Not excusing them.”
Hopkins added that attending an inauguration is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Other people on the National Mall did not come to celebrate, but still wanted to witness an inauguration.
Eamon Martin, a junior at American University, and Will Farrell, a junior at Georgetown University, said they were both supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., before eventually supporting former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Both attended the ceremony to be part of an American tradition, they said.
“Being able to participate in the inauguration of a new president no matter who they may be I think is really important for me, and it’s also an opportunity as a student right here in D.C.,” Martin said.
Farrell said he considered protesting on Inauguration Day but instead took part in the “peaceful transition of power.”
“I realized that it’d be better for me to partake in the peaceful transition, and voicing my opinion tomorrow at the Women’s March, rather than trying to cause too much disruption today,” Farrell said.
Organizers have created The Women’s March on Washington, which will take a place Saturday. Its aim is to send a message to the incoming administration that women have voices. Notable celebrities, such as Michael Moore, Amanda Nguyen and Scarlett Johansson, will be speaking at the march.
Ronni Farid, a freshman, said that while the election’s outcome was disappointing, she had planned to attend the inauguration, no matter the winner.
“I would have enjoyed the entire process more if a better candidate had won,” Farid said.
Farid sat in the ticketed section at the inauguration ceremony, which required her to apply for a ticket through her congressman, she said.
Like other inauguration attendees, Farid said she also plans to partake in the Women’s March Saturday.
“I expect the protests, specifically the Women’s March on Washington to be impressive, and I look forward to witnessing that history,” Farid said.