Senior recalls her 2017 inauguration experience

Richey and her eighth-grade classmates attended the event

The United States Capitol serves as the site of presidential inauguration ceremonies every four years.

"United States Capitol" by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The United States Capitol serves as the site of presidential inauguration ceremonies every four years.

Tori Basile , Reporter

President Donald Trump was inaugurated in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2017; his administration has since been both a historical and divisive one. Current senior Becca Richey of St. Luke’s eighth grade Class of 2017 witnessed the momentous inauguration firsthand. 

Richey, who went to St. Luke for nine years, prepared for the event with her class all year long. She said, “We found out at the beginning of eighth grade that we were going, and we didn’t know who the president was going to be, but we were going to go either way. I didn’t really care who it was, I was just excited that we were going.” 

She recounted that once the trip finally arrived, she and her classmates began the day early. She said, “We had to wake up at 4 (in the morning) and take a bus Downtown. Our lunch was scheduled for 9 a.m., so it was definitely an early day. It was rainy, and it was a lot of waiting.”

Though the trip was four years ago, Richey specifically remembers all of the protests that occurred during the event. She said, “It was definitely scary being there. We had to cut out two museums (we’d planned to go to), because even just to get from Point A to Point B was impossible. We had to walk through the women’s march.”

Richey continued, “There were huge Trump protests where people were throwing rocks at police officers. My mom texted me (because) she was so nervous, but (even though) I was never caught up in anything, I definitely saw some scary protests.” 

Of the inauguration itself, Richey said, “There weren’t that many people that were there for the inauguration, less than normal. I feel like people were maybe scared to go. I remember before Trump came out, it was just a very American moment. They were playing our classic American tunes and everyone in the crowd was singing along. That was a good moment.”

Richey said that protests began to escalate after the inauguration of four years ago, and said it was difficult to make it back to their hotel afterward. She said, “There were so many people you couldn’t walk. I don’t know how we didn’t lose anyone.”

Overall, Richey said she remembers the day as being “the most chaotic thing I’ve been a part of.”