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Dublin High Grad Monica Moorjani on the 57th Presidential Inauguration

January 25, 2013

by Monica Moorjani (Dublin High School Class of 2012 and University of California, Davis freshman)

Dublin High School Graduate Monica Moorjani at the 57th Presidential Inauguration

At 5:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time), my alarm buzzed. It was time to make the journey across Washington D.C. to attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration. I gulped down a hot cup of coffee, piled on the layers, and grabbed my festive ‘Obama’ beanie as I headed out.

The walk to the metro station was bitterly cold. Street lamps provided the only source of light in the darkness of the early morning, but the city was as busy as if it were noon. I shivered past the security guards and policemen who were assembled along the streets, prepared for the long day ahead. Troops of Boy Scouts huddled together, probably discussing their volunteer schedule for the day, and hundreds of middle and high school students (on their school trip to D.C.) made their way toward the National Mall, where they would find a spot in the general admission section. I was surrounded by people of all ages and races, from an elderly man with a walking stick to a young child wrapped in bulky clothing. It may have been six in the morning, but there were no feelings of tiredness in the air, just pure excitement.

By 6:40 AM, I made it to the security checkpoint of the Northwest Standing area. The line was long, and as I waited, the sun began to come up from behind the Capitol Building, painting the navy-blue sky orange and pink. The sunrise marked the official start of this very exciting day.

By the time I claimed a spot in my ticketed area, there were still four more hours left until the inauguration. The only thing worse than waiting for four hours is waiting outside for four hours during an East Coast winter. My toes began to freeze, and even the wool socks and foot warmers inside my boots could not keep me warm. Some of the people around me laughed, “Californians don’t know what real winter is!” A fellow Californian and I couldn’t help but agree.

But waiting in the icy cold weather was more than worth it once the ceremony started. Throughout the inauguration, the crowds were ecstatic. They enthusiastically waved around their miniature-sized American flags and chanted “Obama! Obama!” After President Obama’s oath of office, cannons were fired just outside of Capitol Hill. Feeling the vibrations and hearing the sounds of the explosions sent chills down my spine. The “booms” of the cannons were just electrifying!

President Obama Speaking at the 57th Presidential Inauguration

The most incredible part of the entire day was President Obama’s inaugural address. I was lucky to be close enough to see his famous hand gestures in person. As he spoke, the usually noisy crowd was instead attentively listening. They nodded their heads in agreement with Obama’s powerful statements and uttered the occasional “yes” or “amen”. I saw the look of admiration in people’s eyes, the passion in their tears, and the faith in their utterances. Obama’s confidence echoed out of speakers to those gathered at the Capitol Building to those over a mile away at the Washington Monument. It was as if his words were traveling across the nation for all of the American people to hear.

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At the Dublin High School 2012 Senior Awards Night Monica was named a California Scholarship Federation Life Member, was awarded the President’s Gold Award for Educational Excellence and earned Dublin High School’s Advanced Scholar Diploma. Monica was also the Senior Class Treasurer. Monica is currently a freshman at the University of California, Davis.

Up early to secure a good seat

Up early to secure a good seat

Meeting with City of Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti and Congressman Eric Swalwell

Meeting with City of Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti and Congressman Eric Swalwell