WASHINGTON— More than 800,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., on Monday to attend the Inauguration festivities. Along the parade route eager attendees lined up as early as 7 a.m., hoping to snag a spot close to where President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were expected to get out of their vehicle and walk.
Visitors traveled from all over the country, from states such as Illinois, Texas and South Carolina, for the event. Several people said they found this Inauguration more significant than when Obama was first sworn in four years ago. “This is more special,” said Deborah Grier of Jacksonville, Fla. “And for it to be on today, when we’re also celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday, National Service Day, it’s like a double whammy.”
This year’s parade featured floats and representatives from more than 58 groups and organizations, including the Punahou School marching band, the Hawaiian high school from which President Obama graduated in 1979. “To see the military, the color guard, the policemen, and then to see our commander-in-chief,” said Grier. “This is the parade of parades.”