Throughout the day here at AOPA, we gave our people the opportunity to take some time to witness the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Frankly, there has been no other moment during my two plus decades in Washington where so many people filled our nation’s capital for such an historic event. The transfer of power in a peaceful and orderly process remains a remarkable moment for our nation.
For me, this was also nostalgic. Twenty-eight years ago, I had the honor of entering the White House grounds just after noon on January 20, 1981. Then, as a new president took the oath of office and participated in a luncheon and a parade, those of us with offices in the West Wing moved in and went to work. President Reagan entered the Oval Office and immediately signed presidential executive orders a few hours later.
In 1989, I stood on the grounds in front of the Capitol and participated in another presidential inaugural…this time, for President George H.W. Bush. And, as he took on the burdens of being president, I ceased being a chief of staff to the vice president and returned to being private citizen after eight years.
I hope wherever you found yourself today, you took a few moments to celebrate this transfer of power and the historic significance of this day.