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First Inauguration Does Not Disappoint

Photo of Lydia Gard, Grace College class of 2018 By: Lydia Gard Grace College Class of 2018

Donald John Trump and Michael (Mike) Richard Pence officially became the 45th president and vice president of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I was there.

Grace College’s Student Senate, on which I am a representative, had the opportunity to attend the 2017 inauguration, in keeping with its tradition of going to presidential inaugurations.

Photo of Grace College Students in Washington, DC, at President Trump's inauguration

The ceremony itself seemed to go according to plan. Choirs performed, a military band played and various ministers spoke, read scripture and prayed. Then the new vice president and president took their respective oaths. President Trump gave a rousing speech, one filled with emotion and promises. Among other statements, Trump said, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first,” “We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again” and, toward the end of his speech, “Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.”

Being at the 2017 inauguration was incredible for me. I would even call the experience surreal, in the best way. I witnessed history in the making, and it was unlike any other experience in my life up to this point. The inauguration was a very positive and impacting experience that I feel fortunate to have had.

Not everyone in the D.C. area shares this sentiment.

Multiple protests occurred before, during and after the inauguration. All over D.C., people of various backgrounds rallied and used their freedom of speech to voice their feelings and frustrations with President Trump, as well as express anger about the way our country stands in general.

A Starbucks my group walked by had shattered windows and caution tape in front of its doors, and other Starbucks shops closed their doors. Men and women had masks on to combat stink bombs set off in crowds. Police officers and military members watched by-standers and participants alike with careful eyes. Some protesters were arrested.

Most Americans would agree that the recent election process was disheartening, frustrating and even infuriating at points. But despite how Americans are feeling currently, Donald Trump is now president of the United States and Mike Pence is vice president.

This inauguration and the events surrounding it were enlightening to me. After all, inaugurations only happen every four years; learning like this does not happen every day.

Time will reveal what this new presidential administration will or will not accomplish. All that being said, and to end my reflections the way Trump ended his first speech as president,

“God bless you. And God bless America.”

Photo of the Washington Monument Photo of Grace College students in Washington, DC, at President Trump's inauguration

Tagged With: 2017 Archives, Campus Life, Events, Study Abroad