The Press on the National MallBy Shannon Donahue 1/20/2009


No we
can’t, or at least we thought we couldn’t earlier this morning. We arrived at
6am at 4th E street. We found ourselves in the mix of hundreds upon thousands
of Obama supporters trying to attend the festivities on Inauguration
Day.
We
had all been credentialed and eagerly tried to find the Press entrance, but were
turned away at every street corner we encountered. We ended up linking up with
several other news affiliates and headed over to 12th E Street. This was where
our adventure truly began.
The Press was not given an early admittance or separate gate to enter,
so we were forced to line up with everyone else. We hopped the barrier
and jumped right in line
with the crowd. The weather was ridiculously cold and we were forced to stay
stationary for hours. So needless to say, many of us were beginning to
go numb and experiencing equipment malfunctions from the frigid air.
Every few minutes, we seemed to only move a centimeter or two, and by
this point, the crowd began to push and shove and grow
impatient.

We finally made our way to security where we were
told to turn on all electronics and make our way through the metal
detector. We finally made it through the gate and discovered that we
were led in the completely wrong direction. Instead of getting to the
Swearing In Ceremony area, we ended up on the other side of the
Capitol on the parade route. After several minutes of arguing with
secret service agents, we were escorted to the other side of the route
and found our way to the National Mall for the Swearing in Ceremony of
Barack Obama and Joseph Biden.

Being a part
of that moment in history, being thrown into the crowd of people, witnessing
their emotions, and watching the Inauguration in person made every struggle of
the day well worth it. In the end, we discovered that yes we can, and we did!
We triumphed over obstacles and were able to cover this historic Inauguration
that will be forever engrained in our memories.