No matter the party, a Presidential Inauguration represents a rare convergence of people gathered to witness a moment in history suffused with tradition and symbolism, shared with the world via the media. I have always respected that process.
In January 2013 I headed to D.C. to quietly help with media credentials, especially during the first distribution days. Also took the opportunity to see friends at such events as the Green Inaugural Ball at the multi-media Newseum.
Actually, the constitutional oath had already been administered on the required date (January 20) in private because that fell on a Sunday. Just as with President Eisenhower in 1957 and President Reagan in 1985, President Obama delayed taking the public oath until the next day.
But it rang true, as ever.
Once again, people gathered. The colors were raised. The band played. The media chronicled.
And the newly re-elected President spoke.
Looking back, that might seem now more like a quick pause during a constantly unfolding saga. Afterward, everyone in D.C. went back to their respective spots. I headed back to Chicago to teach my Mass Media and Politics course.
Yet I felt recharged once again witnessing that singular, reassuring ritual in the American political process. A reminder that what we do can and does make a difference.
Text and photographs © 2014 Walter J. Podrazik plus public image from whitehouse.gov