Courtesy of MCT
The world was watching as President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term, but some Ohio State students had a close-up of the action.
Several students traveled to Washington, D.C., for the 57th U.S. Presidential Inauguration on Monday, where the president was sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Mohammed Miniato, a second-year in microbiology, said his longstanding admiration of Obama was a major driving factor in his decision to attend the ceremony.
“I’ve been a big Barack Obama supporter since eighth grade … when my school held a mock election where I ran based on his principles and actually won,” Miniato said. “I think attending a presidential inauguration is something everyone should do at least once. You have a front-row seat to the leader of the free world getting inaugurated.”
Obama spoke on a number of topics, including health care, women and gay rights, national security and the economy. He said America posseses the tools to solve its problems.
“America’s possibilities are limitless,” Obama said, “for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.”
Niraj Antani, a fourth-year in political science and communications director of the OSU College Republicans, said the inaugural ceremony is important for all Americans despite party affiliation.
“The inauguration should be a unifying moment for the country and it signifies that we are a democracy,” Antani said.
He said it is also important for more high school and college students to become involved in the political process. Although Antani didn’t attend the inauguration this year, he traveled to D.C. for the inauguration in 2009.
“Seeing the president get inaugurated, whoever it is, is important,” Antani said. “Watching that many people, both Democrats and Republicans, witness that transition of power together was certainly the opportunity of a lifetime.”
The theme of this year’s inaugural ceremony was “Faith in America’s Future,” which according to the official event website, was in commemoration of “United States’ perseverance and unity.”
Erica Van Heyde, a first-year in communication, said she has had an interest in politics since high school and was excited to attend her first presidential inauguration this year. She said she feels hopeful looking at the next four years.
“I think a lot will get done in the next four years and I’m hoping we will be able to come up with more bipartisan solutions to a lot of problems we are facing as a nation right now,” Van Heyde said.
Other ceremonial events that took place included a traditional morning worship service, the procession to the Capitol, the vice-president’s swearing-in ceremony, the presidential inaugural address, luncheons, a parade and inaugural balls in the evening.
During the ceremony James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson sang “America the Beautiful” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” respectively, and BeyoncÃ© Knowles sang the national anthem after the benediction.