Inaugural celebration, message evoke reactions from students

Picture from the Los Angeles Times

Julia Jacobs, asst. opinions editor

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President Barack H. Obama was publicly sworn in for his second term on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on Jan. 21.

A private ceremony had taken place in the Blue Room of the White House the previous day, beginning a celebration filled with speeches and vocal performances amplified for an audience of approximately 1 million, a parade, and an inaugural ball.

According to Politico, a crowd of 1 million is only 55 percent of the crowd that attended Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, which set a new record at 1.8 million.

In his address, Obama recognized the fight for equality for those who are marginalized as one of the driving forces of his second term. Obama repeatedly proclaimed, “Our journey is not complete” until the day women gain equal pay and immigrant children are welcomed into schools and work places.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said.

Senior Andrew Peterson was among hundreds of thousands watching the walk from the U.S. Capitol to the White House, followed by a parade of 8,800 people. The Peterson family, who had supported Mitt Romney during the election, primarily made the trip to see Andrew’s sister Charlotte participate in the parade, Andrew said.

The Peterson family waited approximately seven hours in the 40-degree weather to witness Charlotte ride her horse in the parade, all the while surrounded by throngs of Obama supporters.

Despite his conservative leanings, Andrew appreciated the inauguration as a fun experience for his family as well as a cause of celebration for the African-American community similar to that of 2009.

“[The inauguration] is a good chance for liberals and conservatives to join together and support [the president],” Andrew said.

Max Sendor, president of South’s Gay-Straight Alliance, was happy to see Obama, the first president to mention gay rights in his Inaugural Address, openly supporting equality for the LGBT community.

“I hope this signifies that there has been a shift that has begun in our society that finally shows complete rights for everyone, including the LGBT community,” Sendor said.

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