Inauguration 2009 – The Great American Pilgrimage: On the Ground in Washington

  • Published on January 17th, 2009

Change is in the air! Red, Green, and Blue editor Tim Hurst posted photos of the wind turbines on the Capital Mall yesterday, and I was able to see them firsthand today, with the flag-draped Capital as a most appropriate backdrop.

The Capital stands ready for history

Arriving in the DC area last night, I’m staying across the Potomac in Alexandria, the obvious buzz in the air is about the inauguration. But this time it is different. That’s the feeling on the air and the word on the street. Estimates are now for two million people to converge on the Mall on inauguration day in what truly is becoming  a Great American Pilgrimage.

A wind turbine spins with the Capital in the backgroundOf course I knew when I left San Francisco early yesterday morning that I was one of many – thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions – coming to Washington to bear witness to history. But once the journey is begun, I am myself swept up in its tide.

There is a pragmatic aspect to governance, a political reality to wielding power. But seeing and being a part of this movement of people, I realize there is an underlying spirit to what this inauguration represents. Pragmatism and power lend itself to politics – the art of the possible. They are the tools that, when we strive for our best, serve the ideals and spirit of a nation and its people. This is a proud moment for America and Americans.

The whole world is watching.

Image credit: Tom Schueneman

About the Author

is an online publisher, editor, and freelance writer. He is the founder of and the History Blog Project, as well as publisher and site director for the Tom also contributes to numerous environmental blogs, including TriplePundit, Ecopolitology, Sustainablog, and Planetsave.   Tom's work has led him to Europe, Africa, Latin America, Canada, the South Pacific, and across the United States. His home base is San Francisco, California.