Near the end of the parade at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, the crowd was quiet. Some people took selfies as the various military color guards passed by. Otherwise, silence when the vehicles cruised past.
“It’s almost like a funeral,” Scott McGrady, 50, said to no one in particular.
A regular inaugural parade attendee since Richard Nixon took the oath of office in 1969, McGrady said he was excited to be in the spot along the parade route where the new president usually gets out to walk among the people.
Trump did not do that. The president’s limousine rolled by the grandstand, and inside, Trump appeared to be looking straight ahead.
McGrady, an air conditioner salesman from Annapolis, clapped anyway. He voted for Trump and is hopeful that the new administration will boost the economy.
“I’m a salesman,” he said. “Whenever the economy improves, it’s good for me.”
Still, he was disappointed by the crowd’s mood, and that Trump didn’t step outside — especially so close to the new Trump Hotel.
“I thought he’d see that as a photo opp for sure,” McGrady said. “I mean, he’s supposed to be a man of the people. I know that sounds negative since I voted for him. But he should have got out.”
As Vice President Pence passed by, McGrady and about a dozen others in the grandstand clapped again.
Nearby, a man turned to his girlfriend to remark on the quiet.
“It’s so much more peaceful on this side,” he said.