4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 • Lincoln Memorial
The day before the inauguration, Trump supporters flocked to a welcome concert at the Lincoln Memorial, headlined by country artist Toby Keith and with a few words by the president-elect.
The excitement along the reflecting pool was widespread.
“Politics aside, it’s a pretty special thing,” Donovan Durand, a service technician and Trump supporter from Rhode Island, said.
A group of women from Jacksonville, Fla., shown above, praised Trump’s election as a renewal of the country, a chance for it to realign itself with religious values.
But not everyone in attendance said they were a Trump supporter. Sisters Kelly and Fiona McKenzie discussed their “horror” at Trump’s election, the latter in hushed tones amid the heavily Republican crowd. But they said they were excited to have traveled from Toronto to witness history.
Trump supporters gather for ceremony
11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20 • The Mall
People slowly filed into the Mall on Friday morning, some enduring hours in security lines, as music — including songs by artists such as Celine Dion who’d declined to perform at the event — blared. The few protesters who made it inside held their signs quietly.
But neither their presence nor the bleak weather dampened the mood for some Trump supporters. “For me, it’s like a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing,” said Mike Fritz, a motor technician from Philadelphia. “There it is. I mean, there’s the flag. He’s gonna be up there with Barack Obama. Transition of power, I mean, bing, bang, boom.”
Friday, Jan. 20 • Throughout Washington
In the week before the inauguration, there were protests across D.C., peaking the day of the inauguration. Some were planned, some impromptu, some peaceful, some broken up by police. Trump supporters tended to support their right to protest, though many thought they were misguided or disrespectful.
“Today’s not a day to be protesting anything. Today is a day to celebrate the freedoms we have,” said Tommy Fields, a contractor from New York City. “Of course it’s their right, but tomorrow would be a much better day.”
Mary Fields, a nurse and Tommy Fields’s wife, took up a different issue with the left: “They’re calling us all kinds of names — racist, sexist. I mean, I work with low-income pregnant women in high-risk populations and their babies of every color.”
One protester’s take: “If you can overlook homophobia and sexism and xenophobia and racism, then you’re just a jerk, and I don’t want to hang out with you,” said Hillary Godwin. “Why would I want to be friends with someone who sees other people as lesser than them? It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of humanity.”
In Franklin Square, where Godwin was, protests took a violent turn. As a crowd of bystanders grew, police deployed flash bangs to push back the crowd after a limo and trash cans were set on fire.
A march for rights — and against Trump
10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 • Independence Avenue
On Saturday, at a pre-march rally, protesters heard from celebrity guests and shared signs with messages of support for rights and disapproval of Trump. The gathering, a cross-section of advocates for human rights, pro-abortion rights and environmental protection, also included immigration activists, members of an Ohio chapter of the United Steelworkers union and first-time protesters who felt compelled to join the cause following Trump’s victory.
Around 1 p.m., marchers started to stream down Independence Avenue, through the Mall, and toward the White House. Among their chants: “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here,” “Love trumps hate” and a verse of “This Land is Your Land”.
A few hours later, the march route had cleared. And soon, the out-of-towners would leave the city. Whether they returned home emboldened by a new president or apprehensive about what the next four years could hold, they together saw the beginning of a new era in Washington.