Skip navigation

Citizens on the inauguration

Viewers write for their perspective on the events of the day

Elise Amendola / AP
  Most Popular
Most viewed

Click for a related story

I tried to attend the swearing in ceremony because my co-worker gave me great tickets to view this event.  I was very excited and privileged to be there.  Though, unfortunately, I never got in.

After I waited patiently for almost two hours, I only moved in line about 10 feet; I missed the entire swearing in ceremony. Several hundred of my fellow Americans, including myself, just waited.

While we could see the Capitol building, we could not see or hear any of the ceremony.  We never made even made it through the security tents.  As an actual ticker-holder and supporter of Bush, I was disappointed that I couldn’t access this area in a timely manner.

After trying to access the parade at several sites, my boyfriend and I decided to just head home on the metro and watch it on TV. —Sheila, Alexandria, Va.

My father and I drove from Ohio to peacefully protest at the inauguration.  I'd been to D.C. before and loved it.  This time, however, the mink coats were everywhere.  The talk on the Metro was "what ball are you attending?"  The level of celebration was shocking in this time of war. 

When we returned to Ohio, I watched a news story of how six children witnessed the innocent deaths of their parents by our troops.  I feel for the children and the soldiers; That's the reality and I don't care what ball you attend. —Carol DelGrosso, Ohio

I attended the Bush’s inauguration, in protest.  While waiting 90 minutes in the security line, I heard a man loudly proclaim “The f’ kers better get used to it because we are f’ing in charge for the next four years.” 

One woman standing behind me along the parade route kept suggesting that we go across the street to the Canadian Embassy and make arrangements to leave our beloved nation. 

I spoke with a young woman from Nebraska who was here with a group of journalism students.  One of them took some video of the group on the Metro — a normal, everyday occurrence.  The result?  Someone complained, the police were brought in and the video confiscated.

Though, Bush supporters mainly blamed the protesters for the massive security, which seemed to be overdone.  I felt that though I was in Berlin during the Cold War.  D.C. was broken down into sectors, and to move from one to the next, a person was required to go through security again.  Even when I tried to leave to get to the Metro, there was a security line.  —Jana Hussmann Meacham, Ma.

This was my third inaugural, and at least the weather was good this time out (mid 30s, but in Wisconsin it was around 0). It was clear and mildly warm, compared to 2001, when it was damp, damp, damp and 1997 when it was clear but icebox cold.  The Security tents were the main sticking point for most people, taking over an hour, two in some cases. However, once you got the tent, the search was rather casual. A general patdown for weapons, and the police were asking "are you carrying any weapons?" Amazingly, some people answered yes to that question. Police confiscated some bags and backpacks but not others. There were no metal detectors (not even wand devices), no x-ray machines, and no dogs. Bush's motorcade went through at fairly high speed past the area where many of the protestors were, near Fourth and Pennsylvania. Despite this, there were a large number of boos, yells and taunts along with sign-waving. On thing that was different was that the Washington area police were joined by police from all over the county. I saw police from Dayton (Ohio), Minneapolis, Columbia (Missouri) and Miami. The Miami cops made the front cover of the Post rolling around in the snow -- definetely not the type of weather they are used to at home. The Metro was extremely efficient, crowds were large but the trains were not that much more crowded than on an average day. The WMATA issued a special Inauguration Day pass with a stylized American flag design on it. — John Heckenlively, Rancine, Wis.

Since I work from 7:00 to 5:00 and not home until 6:00PM, I got to watch re-runs of the Inaugural Activities especially the swearing-in and the speech at CSpan.  I came from a third world country and immigrated to this beautiful land of the FREE and where democracy is practiced at its fullest context. That is why watching the inauguration is very uplifting.  I voted for Pres. Bush and I believe in his ideals and moral values and I am convinced he will lead this country in the right direction. I pray that he will be guided by the "Powerful Wisdom" in all his decision-making.  Long live America and its Democracy. — Ester, Norwalk, Calif.

If the goal is to eliminate tyranny in the world, then the FIRST place for Mr. Bush is in his own White House.  His nominee for Attorney General spent a large part of Mr. Bush's first term finding justifications for the use of torture.  This Administration, using the false pretext of Weapon of Mass Destruction, lied us into a war that has, to date, killed over 100,000 civilians, over 1,300 American troops, and countless innocent by-standers, one of whom was a woman who had dedicated 30 years of her life to trying to help the Iraqi people.  This Administration owes its election to both encouraging and abetting the slandering of the wartime reputation of a good man, all the while doing all in its power to cover-up the alarming lack of military service on the part of those most vociferous in advocating military invasion and occupation.  If this President REALLY wants to eradicate tyranny in the world, he can start by leaving Washington D.C. and taking his fellow Republican sychophants with him.  — Joseph Dorchack, Berwyn, Ill.

I agree that we should honor the office of the president regardless of our feelings for the man holding that position. During the beginning Bush's first term I was supportive of his actions.  But as he moved against Iraq, alienated our allies and moved the economy toward record deficits I became disenchanted with his policies. I hope for the sake of this country the next four years go by quickly. — Andy

I know we have the freedom of speech and the freedom to disagree; but I truly believe that on Inaguration Day we should put those disagreements aside.  Regardless of whether or not we agree with the choice that was made, we should respect the OFFICE of President.  In the past and most likely in the future, I will not agree or maybe even like the elected President.  However, I have always respected the office and have never used my position as a teacher to denigrate or belittle the President, regardless of his political ties.  I encourage questioning and disagreeing with political, moral, and ethical decisions that are made; but never have allowed the OFFICE to be disrespected in any manner.   I will not take this forum to even state my political beliefs.  I will take the time to pray for the President and pray the decisions he makes in the next four years will be the best for the United States.  God Bless the President and the United States. — PB {old enough to know and young enough to care}. Oklahoma City, Okla.

I found it ironic that the e-mail that seemed to say it all was from a 10 year old.  I don't care if the inaugural funds were donated by private citizens.  If the "compassionate conservative citizens" who made these events possible were really "compassionate" one would think that they wouldn't mind helping out some of their fellow Americans who can't, through no fault of their own, afford health insurance. Yes, America is the land of opportunity where dreams can come true; however, there may be circumstances that prevent some people from becoming a financial success.  Maybe the "elite" (George W's base) shouldn't be so quick to judge until they actually walk in the shoes of those that aren't quite as fortunate. —K. North, Ft. Smith, Ariz.

I support President Bush, but I feel that his inauguration, while beautiful to watch, cost so very much. I don't understand why this event should be so costly, when we have people in our
wonderful nation who lack food and shelter,especially children. I just believe that some of all the millions it cost for President Bush's grand event could have been better served by feeding the poor and hungry children who live in his country. —Candace, Spokane, Wash.

As I sat in the lunchroom with my friend today, we watched the inauguration of President Bush.  Various students at my high school planned a walkout in protest of his inauguration.  Sure, it is not going to change the fact that he is our president, but we needed to express our opinion.  Hopefully these four years will go by quickly and for the next election I will get a chance to vote and truly make a difference.  Virginia, Marietta, Ga.

I didn't vote for "W".  However, as I sat in my office watching the President speak the oath of office, I felt uplifted by the bigger picture: We are one of the youngest nations in the world, yet for the umpteenth time, an elected President was inaugurated peacefully. The army didn't shut down the country, civil war did not erupt, and best of all, we all can say whatever we like about him without fear of being thrown in prison or killed.

As Americans, we have a new President, and if we truly believe in the democratic process as we say we do, we ought to be gracious (if not good) losers.  Let’s cut the guy a little slack on inauguration day.  —Ellen Moore, Houston, TX

I attended the Inauguration today, and was proud of the opportunity to express my patriotism.  The founding fathers of this country sought the peace and freedom.  Our president, George W. Bush, espouses the same beliefs that moved the founding fathers to establish this beautiful country.

His speech today was indicative of this.  He does not like war any more than any other person does, but what we have to realize is that he is in a position that none of us have ever been in.  Personally, I am grateful that we have President Bush as our leader in this tumultuous time.  I am grateful for his courage to stand fast to what he believes, in spite of the criticism he has received.

May God bless our President, our country, and all citizens of the United States throughout the years to come!  —Bryan Twaddle, Front Royal, Va.

For materials you post or otherwise provide to MSNBC (a "Submission"), you grant MSNBC permission to (1) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat your Submission, each in connection with the MSNBC Web Site, and (2) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. MSNBC will not pay you for your Submission. MSNBC may remove your Submission at any time. For each Submission, you represent that you have all rights necessary for you to make the grants in this section.

Sponsored links

Resource guide