Over this past week I was fortunate enough to be in Washington DC for the inauguration of Barack Obama. For the few days I was home I was able to experience crowds and general good cheer on a level I’ve never seen. The reasoning was behind my excitement at attending were not just to witness the historic event, but to be amongst the diverse crowds during such a unifying moment.
One of the more powerful moments of the weekend was during a hurried walk home from the concert at the Lincoln memorial. Like every large event I’ve attended in DC, there tend to be splinter groups that piggyback on the intentions of the protest or, in this case, celebration. Often this involves a group of anarchists who cause a ruckus until the police crack down, but occasionally a small group or single individual with a sign is able to become the center of attention. On 19th street, near the Corcoran, a group similar to the Westboro Baptist Church had set up a series of signs proclaiming “God Hates Homos.” Obviously this message ran counter to the spirit of the week’s events and riled up the crowd. Some had gathered around them, taking photos and trying to engage in a fruitless argument. As I approached the scene, someone in front of me began chanting, “Stop the hate!” over and over. It quickly caught on and soon the hundreds of people passing this small hate-filled group were joined in a chorus, all smiling that they had overcome the negative message on the street.
It was moments like this that stuck me most, and I was fortunate enough to enjoy the event in the company of family and close friends. It is in this spirit that I am dedicated a week or more to the photos I took during this past week. Enjoy.