Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States last Friday at noon, on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
His inauguration was the first time a total political outsider, who has never served in public office or the military, assumed the nation’s highest office.
The number of people who attended the inauguration is contested. Trump claims that many more people were present than several media outlets say is possible by looking at photos of the event.
However, many dedicated Trump supporters showed up to hear the oath of office, excited to watch their outsider champion ascend to the presidency and denounce what they view as Washington’s longstanding ruling political order.
“He’s not a politician, [that] was a big thing for us,” Tom Wernz, who traveled from Brandenburg, Ky. to watch the inauguration with his family, said. “It would have been the same old thing whether it would have been Republican Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio — they’re all in here for themselves.”
Apart from Trump’s prepared speech, the inauguration had all the hallmarks of a typical Trump campaign rally. Out of a sea of red “Make American Great Again” hats sprung a constant chant of “Trump, Trump, Trump.” Every time the Jumbotron showed Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who was in attendance with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, cries of “Lock her up” erupted on the National Mall.
Trump supporters Renee and Mark Eberbach flew up from Florida to watch their first inauguration.
“So far, it’s been really peaceful,” Renee Eberbach said early on Friday. Mark Eberbach, her husband, added, “It speaks to the enthusiasm for a change [in political power].”
Democrat Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke before Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were sworn in. On the Capitol grounds, Schumer’s speech was drowned out almost completely by calls of “Drain the swamp!”
Former President Barack Obama’s introduction was met with a muted mix of jeers and applause, although the response was more cordial than Clinton’s scathing welcome. Mark Eberbach said that, although he was glad to see the two-term Democrat go, he thought that Obama still deserved respect.
After Trump took the oath of office, he began to speak, and the crowd roared back to life after a long wait. His speech touched on much of his campaign platform: a promise to “fight against radical Islamic terrorism,” a pledge to remember “the forgotten men and women of our country” and a commitment to put “America first.”
As Trump neared the end of his remarks, an electric anticipation spread through the crowd as they waited for his signature campaign slogan.
“Together,” the new president said as the crowd responded in unison, “We will make America great again!”