Sam, Heidi, Caley, Christina, Maya and Emily heading out at 11:30PM on Monday for a Midnight bus departure to DC.
Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition organized three buses filled with activists to canvas the inauguration crowd and collect signatures urging Obama to follow through on his commitment to take action against the genocide in Sudan.
We were issued hats, tee-shirts, petitions, stickers, information cards and maps when we arrived at K and 3rd NE.
Maryrose and Laird were with us when we launched at about 7AM heading for Judiciary Square.
We collected signatures and talked with folks waiting at the yellow security gates for a while and then decided to make our way to the mall to view the ceremony. Crowds and crowd control kept us moving parallel to the mall all the way to 18th.
We made it! By 10:30 we were at the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Enthusiastic crowds, jumbotrons and a sea of portable toilets welcomed us.
We settled in to watch the show from the World War II Memorial.
Festive, chilly, connected. It was really a very positive atmosphere.
We would have had a great view of the proceedings except for that big block of granite between us and the Capital. Luckily we could watch it on TV.
Looking back at the Lincoln Memorial.
Next was the non-so-trivial task of getting 1.5 million people off the Mall without compromising the security of the parade route. Yea - this is probably 2 hours after the ceremony ended and we are inching along 18th. There aren't any more pictures because by the time we to the bus (5PM), and got home (11:30 PM) we were thinking only about sleep.