More than a million people braved record crowds and freezing
temperatures to witness the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in
Anis Ahmed and Shegoftah Nasreen Queen from VOA Bangla Service both witnessed the event first hand. They describe the historic event live as it unfolds.
Enthusiastic Americans and some foreigners filtered through security barricades
early Tuesday to reach the National Mall to be part of the event.
Many revelers started their day well before dawn, pushing through the city's
streets and jamming public transportation.
By the time the ceremony began, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds filled much of the
three-point-two kilometer length of the Mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln
Groups of students from distant cities and elderly residents of nearby
neighborhoods snapped photos and bought souvenirs from vendors.
Some revelers waved American flags. Others wore t-shirts connecting the
country's first African American president to the aspirations of the late civil
rights leader, Martin Luther King Junior.
Much of the diverse crowd watched the ceremony unfold on big screens set up for
The crowd cheered and chanted Mr. Obama's name during parts of his inaugural
address -- and wept at others.
Mr. Obama spoke of the country's shared history, values and challenges. And he
also mentioned America's racial struggles, noting that less than 60 years ago
some local restaurants may have refused to serve his Kenyan father.