What I saw and heard:
12:42: And as I make it to Union Station, I’ve found the protest march.
12:21 p.m.: People now leaving my section and all the others; I’m amazed at how much room there is around me.
12:17 p.m.: Trump: “You will never be ignored again.”
12:16 p.m.: There goes another protester; he seems to want to stay but a cop is having none of it.
12:14 p.m.: Trump: “When America is united, America is unstoppable.”
12:13 p.m.: Rain nothing but a drizzle now, as Trump commands “a total allegiance to the United States.”
12: 12 p.m.: Trump: “Two simple rules: Buy American and hire American” gets sustained applause.
12:11 p.m. Trump: “We will bring back our borders.” Not sure what that means.
12:10 p.m. Trump says “America first,” and that gets strong applause.
12:09 p.m.: A couple police officers moving through my section. The protester is on his way out, and that’s probably best for his safety.
12:08 p.m.: So far, I’m not hearing a unifying address.
12:05 p.m.: Rain getting heavier, but there is no wind or cold with it. Amazingly comfortable. And this man has stood respectfully from the beginning.
12:04 p.m.: I can’t see him, but there is a protester in my area; he’s getting the verbal barrage from a few men around him: “Get out of here. We don’t want you here.”
12:02 p.m.: Rain getting heavier.
12:01 p.m.: He’s now President Trump.
11;58 a.m.: First drops of rain begin falling. Light. Will they get heavier?
11:54 a.m. Man, maybe 10 feet behind me: “See you, Biden!”
11:53 a.m.: Mike Pence takes the oath of office as Vice President of the United States.
11:48 a.m.: If the crowd didn’t like hearing Pelosi’s name, then they really don’t like listening to Rep. Charles Schumer. Lots of phrases such as “shut up” echo around me. Civility is obviously not ingrained in a few people around me.
11:38 a.m.: Crowd told that today is “not a celebration of victory but of democracy.” Perhaps this woman chose to jot down those very words.
11:33 a.m.: Trump waves; applause seems muted. Where is the enthusiasm that should accompany the inauguration of a president.
11:31 a.m.: And here comes Trump.
11:31 a.m.: Loudest boos I’ve heard so far from my area as Nancy Pelosi’s name is mentioned as part of the escort team.
11:27 a.m.: “Trump” chants begin, as crowd anticipates him coming into view on the big screen. “There he is! There’s the man!” the man in front of me yells.
11:25 a.m.: Some cheers mixed with mostly boos in my section as President Obama is introduced.
11:24 a.m.: Bernie Sanders appears on the big screen close to me. One man boos. The man next to him says, “Today is not the day for that. We won. Be respectful.”
11:15 a.m.: I’ve made it into my section. The crowds all around me are much smaller than they were in 2009. There’s almost a sense of disbelief among the Trump crowd, as if they can’t believe what they are about to witness.
11:10 a.m.: Polite applause from a few people around me (it took me less than 10 minutes to get through the security detail) as a group of military men and women walk past us.
10:55 a.m.: This guy is getting a few laughs from those who are here to celebrate the inauguration and those here to protest.
10:53 a.m.: Almost no signs of protests (or crowds for that matter until now) as I approach the entrance I’m allowed to use to get into the inauguration areas.