It was no ordinary day at work today. Employees of Church Hill Classics, were lucky to be able to share a historic moment together, right in our main conference room. We were linked in at about 11:30 a.m. to watch Barack Obama, the first African-American man to take the oath of office as 44th President of the United States! We took in this solemn and uplifting moment amid some technical difficulties with our computer, (sometimes the picture froze or the picture and/or sound disappeared). We figured it might be because of the sheer number of people in the country watching online.
For some employees who couldn’t stay to watch for the whole time, they would keep popping in to take a look at the goings on, or link up on their own computer screens.
We saw Aretha Franklin sing “My Country Tis of Thee”, we saw Joe Biden take the oath of office as vice president, and we listened to original music for string and piano. Everyone in our conference room sat quietly, paying close attention. Then it was time for Barack Obama to put his hand on the bible that Abraham Lincoln had used, and he recited the oath of office for President. Then we broke out in applause.
Sharing this momentous occasion with others appeared to be the trend of the day.
Yes, there were thousands upon thousands of people who headed to the Mall in Washington, D.C., perhaps more than on any Inauguration Day. These people were right there to experience the whole feel – getting there really early in the morning, the wind chill of 10 degrees, the press of people, and the lines to get through check points. People pretty much filled the Mall, the areas around the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Even so, far more people were watching on big or small screens, all across the country.
In Connecticut where Church Hill Classics is located, the newscasts, on-line news, and newspapers reported all about the libraries, movie theatres, colleges and museums which opened their doors to show the swearing in ceremony, many options free to the public.
For instance, in “SOUTHINGTON: A live screening of the inauguration ceremony at the Showcase Cinemas,” was sold out.
BOW-TIE CINEMAS offered a free live broadcast of the inauguration at three locations. Admission was free and seating was on a “first-come, first-served basis limited to the theater’s capacity.”
In Hartford, live screenings of the inauguration ceremony took place on the campus of Trinity College.
At the Shaw Mansion in New London, the New London County Historical Society had a 50-inch television for people to view the inauguration. The museum also had artifacts on display from Hawaii and Chicago. “Obama was born in Hawaii and he was a senator from Illinois, with his home in Chicago.”
According to casino spokespersons, “The employee break rooms and cafeterias at the Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods” had “televisions tuned to major news networks for the inauguration of Barack Obama.”
At the Mystic Aquarium, staff and guests were able to “observe the televised festivities in Dr. Robert Ballard’s Challenge of the Deep Theater, said Peter Glankoff, senior vice president of marketing and public affairs. “
People near and far, in all economic conditions, faiths, nationalities, different stages in life, and political bents were certainly enraptured with our newest President on this most memorable day. His well-delivered speech, in part commented on the seriousness of the issues our country faces. Barack Obama firmly stated, “Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.”
To top off the day, there were 10 official Inaugural Balls held in Washington, D.C., but Balls were held in many locations throughout the country, (and the world), to celebrate the occasion. One such ball, The People’s Ball, held at the LaRenaissance in East Windsor, CT, was attended by Church Hill Classics’ Order Entry Manager, Jennifer Simon and her husband Brian Simon.
Jennifer commented that, “The evening was filled with several songs sung by several locals including a local choir, a Dance Performance and several musicians. The event included the viewing of the Inauguration.”
News organizations from all across the country had plenty to say about the scope in which people stopped and watched the Inauguration.
In Green Bay, Wisconsin:
More about Inaugural Balls:
In Washington, D.C.