“Love, pass it on“(” Love, pass it on “). This message, written in red letters next to three hearts, is pasted on the large metal fence over two meters high that separates the Capitol from visitors. On the other side, three soldiers from The National Guard A small gesture of peace, at a ceremony in which people have been asked to stay home and watch the event on television.
Under a hat with the colors of Colombia decorated with a pin in the crossed out name of former President Donald Trump, Marta Duque, a Florida teacher, says that it was always her dream to attend an investiture.
“Nobody wanted to accompany me, everyone is scared. But I came. Because Biden is a person who has a heart of gold,” he says.
Duque is an exception, in the streets of the capital there are almost no onlookers, what there are are members of the armed forces dressed in camouflage and journalists.
Elisabeth Nelson and Amy Richads, two neighbors who daily walk their dogs through the now-closed Capitol Gardens, explain that inaugurations are usually made, no matter who wins, they are usually a holiday in the capital.
“The first inauguration of Barack Obama was wonderful. The streets were full, there were no more people,” recalls Nelson, who has lived in the capital since 1985 and explains that she has been retired for four years.
Laughing, he explains that, for the inauguration of Donald Trump, he went to Baltimore, a neighboring city, to visit a museum to skip the inauguration.
“So much security, unfortunately, is necessary because of the pandemic and the assault on the Capitol, it needed to be different this year. It saddens me, but I think it’s okay,” says Nelson.
The memory of the assault on the Capitol
In a low voice, Chris Linn, a Trump supporter, tells elDiario.es that although “there is no exact evidence” he has “doubts” about the votes in the presidential elections and that he came from California to participate in the pro-march Trump on January 6. Trump’s false accusations of fraud had no basis and the courts rejected the complaints of his lawyers (who did not go so far as to allege fraud).
“I came to support my party and my president,” Linn says. He emphasizes that he did not enter inside the Capitol that day.
Matt Luceen also doesn’t believe the country’s voting system is safe and is protesting peacefully outside of Capitol Hill, not for Trump, but for former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. He doesn’t think Biden won the primary. His way of justifying it is that Sanders “packed stadiums” at some rallies.
At noon, when biden became the new president, the applause resounded in the capital. Twenty-somethings Donna Birdsong and Ellis Liddle took advantage of the moment to go down to their portal and clap their hands, shout with joy and dance. They did not care that people were looking at them or the cold temperatures, which made it snow minutes before.
This is their first inauguration and they say they are happy not only for the change of government, but also for the fact that for the first time in the White House there is a female vice president, Kamala Harris.
Other voices ringing around the Capitol are those of religious groups. To make himself heard, Reverend Cloud not only uses his voice, but also his shofar – musical horn – an instrument that the African-American pastor has covered with United States flags.
But not all performances are welcome, an example of this is how little the police liked it when a man dressed in a tunic began to shout and pray about the apocalypse near the Capitol.
The quick reaction of the security forces was to evacuate the area and leave the individual alone preaching loudly. Despite the tension felt between onlookers and journalists who moved a block away, after half an hour the man calmed down and left the place peacefully.