By Kailani
Koenig-Muenste
r — 1/19/09 The country still has to wait for
Barack Obama to be sworn in.
But already tens of thousands of people
have crowded along the Capitol Mall, just hoping to take in the powerful energy
that is surrounding D.C.

Throughout the city, swarms of visitors have been checking
out the District’s attractions, browsing the endless street vendors, and hoping
to be in the right place at the right time to get a glimpse someone
special.

I don’t know if I would consider it a glimpse, but we saw
the future president’s motorcade buzz by tonight. We had a feeling something important may happen because the
police were clearing out the streets, but soon enough a few motorcycles drove
by and we spotted it: license plate 44.

Spotting Obama drive by in a massive swarm of
secret service
was surely a sight, but the real spectacle was the big crowds on the mall in
the middle of the action. I spent part of this evening talking to many
spectators who were just trying breath in the atmosphere.

Almost everyone I talked with came from far away
places. And almost everyone I
talked with also didn’t have a ticket for tomorrow’s swearing-in
ceremony. Although it’s a
bummer, it didn’t seem
to faze them much. Everyone told
me that even if they couldn’t see Obama himself, the
feeling they would get from
being in the crowd was
everything they wanted.

One man told me he couldn’t wait for the surge of
emotion he
and everyone around him will experience the minute Barack Obama raises his hand
to take the oath tomorrow. I’ve
heard numerous people say they know they’re just going to start crying at that
specific moment.

I can’t fathom what it’s going to be like when I
see it.

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