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January 18, 2009

Witness to History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama

J0440225 Hand warmers? Check. Long underwear? Check. Tickets? Check.

Ready to witness history? CHECK!

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, my husband and I will be among the 240,000 people lucky and/or well-connected enough to have scored official tickets to the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.

While we couldn't be more excited, I'm truthfully not sure that we're ready.

Ready to witness this historic occasion? Most certainly. Ready to brave the cold and the crowds to do it? Not so sure.

You see, my husband and I, despite having moved to the Maryland 'burbs a few years ago to purchase our first home, consider Washington, DC to be our city. I lived there for more than ten years, five of which were on Capitol Hill. On September 11, I was working one block from the Congressional Office Buildings. I quickly fled my office to get to my apartment, a not-so-comforting six blocks away. My doctor and dentist are still on the Hill. My husband and I zip in and out of the city on a daily basis.

Back in 1997, I had tickets to attend the second inauguration of Bill Clinton and, while I recall lots of people and some long lines, I basically breezed into my ticketed area. In January 2001, my husband (then boyfriend) and I were interested in seeing the protests to George W.'s first inauguration and so took a leisurely four block stroll over to the Capitol grounds from his apartment.

So this year, I find it almost impossible to wrap my head around the many prohibited items, road closures, bridge closures, large security perimeter and estimated record-breaking crowds. Not to mention the cold.

We've developed plans A, B and C for each of three potential legs of the journey. (In each case the fail safe last resort involves walking for miles and miles). And, we've purchased long underwear and other cold-weather gear.

After being lucky enough to be one of 80,000 at Mile High Stadium in Denver to witness Barack Obama accept the Democratic Nomination, we're not letting a few million people and below freezing temperatures stop us from being there to witness this historic--and emotional--occasion.

Tissues? Check!


Original post to DC Metro Moms. When Aimee Olivo thaws out enough to type again, she'll post about her experiences at the inauguration on her personal blog www.smilingmama.blogspot.com where she writes about life with a toddler and anything else that crosses her mind.

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