Robert Boddie, a Bremerton resident, called me from the mall this morning at about 5:30 a.m. I didn’t answer the phone, but I checked the voicemail. He said:
“Just out here enjoying the festivities, healing some of these old wounds, talking to some of these old time people out here and this place is crowded. It’s cold.”
Here are some photos sent from locals of the events. We’ll continue to post more as we get them. Click on each photo to see a larger version.
Jerome Evans, who works at the shipyard, got his ticket from U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, but didn’t really get a chance to use it.
He got to the New Carrollton metro stop at 6:30 a.m. and waited in line until about 7:05 a.m. before boarding. The crowd there, he said, was in pretty good spirits.
There was some frustration when it became difficult where he needed to go. In the end the mass of people there had broken through the barrier set up for those with tickets. He ended up pretty close to where he would have been, near the Capitol Reflecting Pool. He could see Obama and others with a naked eye, but saw better from the big screens.
While the audience might have been frustrated and excited, it calmed for the speech, Evans said.
Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed issued the following statement:
“We join all Washingtonians in honoring our new 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and concur with his call for national renewal, shared sacrifice and a great generosity of spirit. These are trying times for our state and nation and world, but together we will endure and prevail as we faithfully exercise our duties of citizenship, as neighbors, as family, with civility and compassion and care.
“It was a long, hard-fought campaign that sometimes divided us, but now let us unite and support our new administration. This is a magical time, a time of possibility for our country, but we have not elected a magician, but a man. Let us go forward with patience and resolve. This is a day of promise.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire offered this:
“This is truly a historic day, and one that I am so honored and proud to be a part of. I congratulate President Obama, and look forward to strengthening our developing partnership as we work together to create a stronger and more sustainable future.
“As an early supporter of President Obama, I saw then his hope and passion for serving this country. He has had amazing success at encouraging and inspiring his fellow leaders, and I pledge to do all I can to help carry out his vision for all Americans.
“Our work won’t be easy. We face very difficult economic times. Our families and businesses are struggling. Under President Obama’s leadership, I am confident we will develop reforms and strategies together — at the federal, state and local levels — that will create jobs, rebuild our nation, and help working people and businesses.
“This is an extraordinary time in our country’s history, and I encourage everyone to answer the call to come together to help our neighbors in this ‘new era of responsibility.’”