2:05 AM – Students board coach bus that will leave from Adelphi University and head toward Washington DC, one female student is heard saying “…so I had to choose; miss work, or miss an historical event…”
2:12 AM – Bus still parked as students continue to arrive. “Are we leaving soon? The sooner we leave, the sooner we get there.”
2:20 AM – Roll call starts
2:25 AM – Bus still parked, people are talking, texting and reading Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and People magazines.
2:30 AM – Driving begins
2:35 AM – Passing out metro cards and contact numbers
Throughout Drive, most are sleeping and the bus is dark and silent. Then beeps are heard and the driver inaudibly converses with a female voice over walky-talky, this continues for most of the ride.
8:42 AM – Riding free shuttle to National Mall area. Seats are full of items left over from previous rides, including boxes of food and plastic coolers. A number of passengers are forced to stand. Strangers sharing benches get acquainted, and many speak of the new presidency. “Martin [Luther King Jr] spoke, Obama ran, and we won” says one male passenger in the back.
11:17 AM – Joe Biden’s voice is heard instructing all to be seated, laughter is heard through the massive crowds, as there is just barely enough room to stand, let alone sit.
11:18 AM – The closest screen is obscured by some orange piece of large equipment, the crowd insists that the army troops nearby do something to move it out of the way. “You have the power, call someone!” “We’re missing history!” The soldier then says he’ll see what he can do, and the crowd cheers. “He’s cute” “He’s got gorgeous eyes”.
11:22 AM – Screen still out of view, crowd cheers at mention of former president Bill Clinton.
11:30 AM – An injured/sick woman is escorted away by two soldiers supporting her.
11:35 AM – View still obstructed, crowd continues to complain. Some begin chanting “Move the sign, Move the sign” but do not gain enough of a following to continue.
11:40 AM – A man is escorted away by soldiers, again, being supported under each arm. “They’re dropping like flies” says one woman to another.
Minutes later, a man is literally being carried by three soldiers, put down onto pavement for a moment, and is then loaded into a golf cart. The man can’t even sit up, and seems passed out. Then Obama enters the stage, and the crowd goes wild, forgetting about the fallen spectator.
4:00 PM – As people board bus to leave, “I’m never going to another inauguration” says one adult female.
4:15 PM – “So did anybody see anything? Or were we all too far away?”
4:20 PM – “When people at school ask, just say that we saw everything and loved it!”