Nearly every Sunday I go for an early morning run in DC. We start under the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown and work our way along the Potomac River up to the Lincoln Memorial, and then down around the reflecting pool which sits between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Sometimes, we go all the way down to the Capitol when we are training and need a longer run.
This past Sunday, the day before the Inaugural Parade, we made the trek down the Mall to the Capitol to catch a glance at the preparations for the next day’s events. It is a special time in DC. I brought along my camera because I knew if I didn’t I would regret it. Sure enough, on my way back home I happened upon the Presidential motorcade with both President Obama and Vice President Biden heading to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, an Inaugural custom.
My first Inaugural experience was in 1977 for Jimmy Carter. As a ten-year old at the time, it was a miserable experience because it was the second coldest Inaugural. We waited for hours, literally standing on a block of ice. I don’t even remember if we saw him, or not. All I remember is continually looking down at my feet on the ice as I slowly lost all feeling. I think that was probably the coldest I have ever been.
This day before Obama’s second Inaugural was beautiful, cool and clear.