President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term as President alongside Vice President Joe Biden on January 20th, but in an unusual manner. As mandated by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, all Presidents began their term on Jan. 20th at noon, but in 2013 it fell on a Sunday which led to all of the public events taking place the following day. On that historic day, one St. Ambrose student was in attendance at the Capitol building in Washington D.C.
SAU junior Nursing student Molly Gabaldo said of the event, “No matter who it is that you vote for or agree with,every inauguration is a historic and momentous occasion for every American.”
Staying at a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, Gabaldo’s day started in the Metro around 9:30 am eastern time. The entire trip consisted of multiple security checkpoints en route to her ticket location, the standing area behind the reflecting pool closest to the Capitol. This included standing an hour in a crowded Metro while the train in front of them had broken down.
“[It] was hectic,” explained Gabaldo, “To reach our checkpoint we had to cross Pennsylvania Ave which only had one approved crossing area; however, the crosswalk was shut down by the Secret Service and we waited in a line of about 75 people for about an hour just waiting to cross the street.”
In his speech, President Obama touched upon multiple issues that he would like to address in his second term such as civil rights for women and the LGBT community, gun control, global warming, and immigration reform. Gabaldo thought that the President’s speech was well articulated and genuine. All in all, the experience was one that she will never forget.
“I find beauty in rich tradition and the presidential inauguration is full of it. It was an amazing feeling to take part in something that I know is so historic and important.”