Reporting Alex DeMetrick
WASHINGTON (WJZ) – While it may not have been as historic as his first inauguration, President Barack Obama’s second oath of office was still history in the making.
Alex DeMetrick reports that was enough to draw a lot of people into Washington.
By the time Obama said the oath, hundreds of thousands of people had already put in a long day just getting to the National Mall.
“I believe in President Obama. I want to show support. And I’m just excited about the whole process,” said Lanarva Owens, D.C. visitor.
It’s a process that didn’t allow for shortcuts, except for the convoys of police escorts for VIPs. Everybody else walked, with dozens of street closures and detours designed for crowd control and security.
That left some lost, but knowing directions comes with the job for some.
“I’m a way finder volunteer, so my job is to make sure everybody gets to where they’re going as easily as they can,” said Cameron Simmons, volunteer.
That was a lot easier than four years ago, when a lot more people crowded D.C.
Street vendors saw fewer sales.
“Twice as many people here four years ago. I figure the first time it’s a lot bigger than the second time,” said John Schwarz, street vendor.
But if it’s not the turnout of four years ago, those who have come wouldn’t be any other place.
“To see this thing…big day. My boy’s getting inaugurated for a second time. I’m so excited,” said Lisa Howard, D.C. visitor.
“I’m excited to see the people that support not only the president, but the country,” said Stephen Holowman, D.C. visitor.
Even though the crowd was smaller than four years ago, Monday’s turnout was still the second largest for an inauguration.
More than 2,000 police officers from around the country were on hand to make sure everyone was safe.
The president was officially sworn into office Sunday morning in a small ceremony at the White House.
The president followed that up with a candlelight ceremony where he said Monday’s parties are not about him.
“What we’re celebrating is not the election, or swearing in of a president. What we’re doing is celebrating each other,” the president said.
And he talked about what he called the most significant event of the inaugural weekend…his wife’s new haircut.
“I love her bangs. She always looks good,” he said.
The celebrations won’t end until late Monday when the President and First Lady attend three different inaugural balls.
President Obama has been sworn in four times, putting him equal to Franklin Roosevelt, who won four terms. A second swearing-in was deemed necessary in 2009 when Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the first one.