Scholastic News Kid Reporters covered the 2008 presidential election from start to finish. Over the weekend, they headed to the nation’s capital to report on the inaugural events and the swearing-in ceremony itself. Here are some of their reflections on the historic moment.
Some had tickets to stand near reflecting pools, monuments, and the capitol. Some even had seats. Most of us in the crowd of 2 million had a little piece of land no bigger than our two feet planted firmly side by side. That small area of personal space shifted as more people crammed onto the National Mall, but it never grew any bigger. In fact, it just kept on shrinking to the point that you couldn’t lift your arms up to scratch your ear.
The Jumbotron speakers caught every sound. Hillary Clinton, soon to be Secretary of State, walked out in a bright blue coat. Former
President Bill Clinton was at her side in a black coat with a bright yellow scarf. We could hear the click of Hillary’s heels echo in the halls of power.
The sun was shining, though there were a few wisps of clouds in the sky. Later, the sky would turn gray, and the temperatures would drop, but spirits remained high.
As we stand there waiting for history to unfold, I realize that this is our spot, right here, on the frozen ground, surrounded by somber museums housing the ghosts of our ancestors. This spot, right here is the one we have worked for hours to claim. It is where we have finally landed after following the person in front of us who was following the person in front of her. And behind you thousands more follow, marching in your footsteps.
They all get their spot, like my spot, in history. It is a community gathering of complete strangers with a common interest more than 200 years old. This is where we will witness the dignity and honor of the peaceful transfer of power. This is America.
— Christina Dillard, Madison Hartke-Weber, Quinn Jacobson, Jimmy Pitenis, Scholastic News Kid Reporters
Photo Credit: ©Jim Young/Reuters