by Sarah Matthews
I was only five years old when I attended my first inauguration; my parents took me to George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001. After working on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend my second inauguration 16 years later. On Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, I witnessed the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States: Donald J. Trump.
Whether you support President Trump or not, it is undeniable that witnessing the inauguration of a president is a historic event that should be celebrated with reverence. The transition of power from one president to the next should be recognized for what it is: a new chapter in America’s history. Although our country is 240 years old, there have only been 45 presidents and 58 inaugurations, which is why this tradition is so significant.
In addition to the swearing-in ceremony, I was most excited to attend the Inaugural Ball that evening. In celebration of his inauguration, President Trump attended three balls, which are deemed the “official Inaugural Balls.” Although many galas and events take place throughout the week, the president and first family only attended the Armed Services, Liberty and Freedom Balls.
I attended the Freedom Ball, where everyone was dressed to the nines in beautiful evening gowns and tuxedos…I mean, this was President Trump’s Inaugural Ball, so you had to pull out all of the stops. First Lady Melania Trump made a statement in her beautiful inaugural gown designed by Hervé Pierre, which will one day be displayed in the Smithsonian. While at the ball, I saw the President and First Lady’s first dance. The couple danced to the Frank Sinatra hit, “My Way,” which seemed like a fitting choice, given that it celebrates living unapologetically and speaking one’s mind.
Overall, my inauguration week was an unforgettable experience. Though I know there are many different sentiments regarding Trump’s presidency, I am looking forward to seeing what he does during his first 100 days on his quest to “Make America Great Again.” Moving forward, Donald Trump must continue to focus on his goals and deliver on his promises in order to succeed.