Thrill Is Gone for Crowds at Obama Inauguration

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Crowds shuffled in throughout Monday morning and took their places around the National Mall for Barack Obama’s second inauguration as president of the United States. Color-coded tickets separated those who paid to be here from those who wanted to get in for free.

Lines were short. Getting into the ticketed areas was easy for those with the right stubs. Blue, green, gold, yellow, and orange ticket-holders had no problems slipping right up front for the show. But many of those in attendance trudged over to what event organizers called the “Non-Ticketed Mall” area–signifying they didn’t have to pay to be here.

Police and security units blocked off streets around Capitol Hill, forcing swaths of people wishing to see Obama take the oath of office again to walk or use the Washington, D.C., subway system–known as the “Metro.”

The air was frosty, a freezing cold that Washington, D.C. doesn’t normally endure. A biting wind exacerbated the chill. Cloudy skies prevented sun from shining through. But the weather wasn’t the only gloom in town.

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