Americans Come Together to Watch Nation Turn a Page

10,000 Crowd Sproul Plaza To Celebrate Barack Obama's Historic Oath of Office and Listen to Inaugural Address

Photo: Americans gathered all over the country, from Berkeley, California (top) to Washington, D.C. (above) to share in Obama's inauguration.
Salgu Wissmath/Staff
Americans gathered all over the country, from Berkeley, California (top) to Washington, D.C. (above) to share in Obama's inauguration.

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Gathering to Watch Obama's Inauguration

Erika Oblea and Keen Batti report on the gathering of students, faculty, and residents in Berkeley and Oakland for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

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The Inauguration
Photos from local celebrations
The Inauguration
Photos from local celebrations

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As attendees from across the country packed onto the National Mall yesterday to witness the presidential inauguration, more than 10,000 people filled Upper and Lower Sproul Plaza to join the campus's inauguration party.

Despite the early hour and the cold weather, students, faculty, residents and local elementary school students came together to watch the ceremony on the large screen and to welcome the 44th president, Barack Obama.

"It was clearly one of the biggest crowds on Sproul Plaza that the campus has seen," said campus spokesperson Marie Felde. "It was a very good feeling out there, just so much positive energy, and people were so respectful of each other."

Amid screams and Obama banners and T-shirts, students seemed excited about the inauguration.

"It's not really about Barack Obama himself but the fact that everyone here can hope in a time like this," said freshman Lucas Zucker.

Once Joe Biden and Obama had sworn their oaths, Obama made his speech to America and to the world.

In his speech, Obama laid out his political policies­, addressing economic, defense, environmental and foreign relations issues.

"When he was talking about harnessing the earth's power and about renewable energy, that really got to me because I'm an environmental science major," said freshman Katya Cherukumilli.

While many students watched the events from Sproul Plaza, others witnessed the excitement firsthand in Washington, D.C.

"You keep telling yourself, I'm witnessing history and I need to remember every bit of this," said junior Kala Chapman, who watched the inauguration with other students on the National Mall. "But then you just get caught up in the moment."

Contact Erika Oblea at [email protected]

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