Voices in The Crowd
Erik Wright, an Obama campaign worker from Seattle
Like myself, many purple ticket holders were volunteers or staffers who dedicated countless hours to bring change to this country. Tickets became coveted treasures, as we all knew that so few were available. . . . I spent money I didn't really have to make a personal dream come true. . . . This inauguration was supposed to be one of the most important and historic events of my life. . . . Many [older] ticket holders never thought they would see the day a black man became president, and denying them [the] right to see Obama get sworn in was by far the biggest crime committed.
Mindy Domb, of Amherst, Mass., who never reached the ticket entrance
I will remember the inauguration when I could see the Capitol and hear the cannons and thankfully stood in a small huddle with half a dozen other Americans, listening to President Obama on a small red radio. While I remembered to bring the hand warmers and toe warmers, I was grateful that others brought transistor radios, shared them with us and served as our "speaker system."
Bob Kerstein, a blue ticket holder from Fairfax
After being a die-hard Obama supporter, I have never been so disappointed. We followed instructions and arrived over four and a half hours early and still never made it in. . . . There was no crowd control, no information and no security. I hope the people responsible for this travesty are held accountable. . . . Although this was very disappointing for our family, I am very happy that Obama was finally sworn in and wish him the best.
Andrew Feiler, a Democratic activist from Atlanta who waited in the purple ticket line all morning but ended up stuck outside a security gate
We had 25 yards to go and the ceremony was starting . . . literally thousands of people were left stranded outside our gate. As far as I could see, people were holding up their tickets, collectively stunned that this could have happened. The woman in front of me who braved the snows of Iowa to campaign for Obama; the elderly African American women who never thought they would see this day. . . . When the realization that we really wouldn't make it set in around ten minutes before noon, I literally felt my heart sink.