For the second time in less than 24 hours, the National Mall was blanketed with the sound of "America the Beautiful" as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed the durable patriotic tune just prior to Donald Trump's swearing-in Friday.
Visitors were not exactly stampeding into Washington for Donald Trump’s inaugural Friday.
Aerial shots of the National Mall taken by news networks that suggested attendance at the event was lighter than the last couple of inaugurals were backed by official figures from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which tracks ridership on the Metro system.
During Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009, the transit agency logged 513,000 trips taken on its trains by 11 a.m. For Obama's second inauguration, the transit system had recorded 317,000 riders by 11 a.m.
On the National Mall, Monica Robinson, 27, and Nate Pierce, 29, stood out among Trump supporters wearing red Make America Great Again hats. The couple held handmade protest signs. One said: "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion. – JFK." The other one: "Abort Trump."
Robinson said she chose to come to the inauguration instead of the Women's March on Washington because "this is where it's happening, all the action."
"I think it's awesome women are coming out," she said of Saturday’s planned march. "But I think women are really dissuaded from politics. ... I think women need to vote and be more involved in politics."
Donald Trump swore the oath of office Friday as the 45th president of the United States, as one of the most polarizing figures to assume the office shouldered a promise to reclaim prosperity for millions of Americans who have felt abandoned by their government.
Trump, who won the presidency by smashing nearly every convention in politics, celebrated one of the most solemn and sober rituals in American democracy, a peaceful transfer of power that culminated with him ascending to an office that few thought was within his grasp.
He made history on many levels Friday. At 70, he is the oldest to begin a first-term president. The brash business mogul also became the only commander in chief to enter the White House with neither government nor military service. And while his predecessors included a screen actor and several war heroes, none became international celebrities in the era of reality television.
Encouraged by Donald Trump’s campaign promise to move the U.S Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital, Israeli right-wing politicians have been celebrating his victory ever since Election Day.
Now that inauguration is at hand, it was the turn of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Barkat took a parting shot at President Barack Obama for pushing to freeze Israeli construction in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians as their future capital, and called on Israelis to sign a letter of support for the new president to go through with the controversial move.
At top, people gather on the National Mall during the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president and at bottom, people gather on the National Mall during the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009.
President Obama left the Oval Office for last time as chief executive Friday morning, telling reporters that “of course” he was feeling nostalgic as he made his way to receive President-elect Donald J. Trump at the front door of the White House.
Obama left behind a few papers on the desk as he walked down to the colonnade toward the North Portico, according to a pool reporter who peered through the windows from the Rose Garden. He exchanged a few pleasantries with White House journalists as he made his way.
Parting words to the American people as he left the Oval Office? “Thank you,” he said.