Cheers filled the streets of Washington, D.C. Monday, less than three months after a contentious election cycle concluded with the re-election of President Barack Obama. For some first-time voters, the events served as a culmination of a long political cycle.
"The democratic process is awesome. It's just a wonderful testament to what can happen when you do cast your vote," said Virginia Union divinity student Keith Johnson. "It's awe-inspiring. I'm seeing youth from about two-years-old to those who are, I would guess, about 99-years-old."
Like many, Johnson drove overnight, stood for hours and braved the cold to witness history being made on this inauguration day. For him, there was no doubt that the experience was worth the trouble.
"It was my first time ever voting and I thought I wanted to be a part of history. So that's what brings me here," said Johnson, who drove through the night to attend the inauguration. "It's been cold. I can't feel my feet. My nose has been running. Nonetheless it's all worth it to be here."
Johnson voted for President Obama in the recent election and said the often-ugly campaign process didn't diminish his high regard for the political process.
"You always want that sense of unity, but at the same time you're always going to have that feeling of faction or disunity," Johnson said. "That's just what the democratic process is."
With a long trip back to Norfolk in front of him, he felt confident the memories made Monday would not be easily forgotten.
"If you're not here, you missed out," Johnson concluded.
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