Donald Trump takes the oath of office to become the 45th president of the United States on the U.S. Capitol steps on Friday.
A special Congressional committee offered 250,000 tickets for people to attend the inauguration. Those without tickets can watch from more distant spots around the Capitol. Washington D.C. officials expect 1 million to attend inaugural events or demonstrations against Trump’s presidency.
Some people traveling to Friday’s presidential inauguration of Donald Trump say they want to witness history. Others say they want to cheer the man they supported. And some say they want to see the peaceful changing of power from one president to another -- in this case Democrat Barack Obama to Republican Donald Trump.
On his Bucket List
Scott Naill says attending a presidential inauguration was on his “bucket list.” By “bucket list,” he means something he wanted to do before he dies.
Naill and his wife are driving 500 miles from their home in Springfield, Ohio, so they can watch Donald Trump take the oath of office.
Scott Naill is excited about Trump’s promise to create more American jobs.
“I see him as a non-politician, somebody who is a businessman and knows how to keep jobs in America,” Naill told Voice of America.
Naill, 46, teaches high school students how to service heating and air conditioning systems. Naill hopes Trump will help produce the jobs his students need when they graduate.
“I think these issues of keeping jobs in America resonated with voters,” Naill added.
Wasn’t Sure Trump Would Win
Trump’s promise to bring back jobs is a major reason he carried three important Midwest industrial states – Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Winning those states allowed him to win the presidency, despite losing the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump blamed bad trade deals and illegal immigration for the loss of industrial jobs.
Freda Graham, 65, of Monroe, Louisiana, said she is excited to be coming to Washington -- partly because like many others she thought it might be Hillary Clinton taking the oath of office on Friday.
“We saw the polls and they said he wasn’t going to win,” Graham told VOA. “I had my doubts. I didn’t even want to watch the election results on television. I was so nervous about the outcome.”
Graham said she was “so happy” when Trump won. She is sure Trump will do what he promised -- to “make America great again” and produce more jobs for Americans.” Graham said she understands some people are worried Trump could do damage to the United States. She does not share those concerns.
“You have to understand that we’ve never had anyone like this before,” Graham said of Trump. “Some people weren’t comfortable with him. Trump came in like a bull in a china cabinet. But many of us liked his directness. I think he’s going to be great for this country.”
Graham helped set up the medical records system at a Louisiana hospital. She has an adult son and two grandchildren.
Hopes Trump Will Unify Country
Karen Aversa lives in Staten Island, New York and also plans to watch Trump take the oath of office from a seat outside the U.S. Capitol.
“The reason that I’m going is because I saw this country for the last eight years going in a terrible direction,” Aversa said. “The racial divisions I haven’t since I was young and I’m 63.”
Trump often uses strong language to criticize opponents. He called Clinton, his Democratic opponent, “crooked Hillary.” He recently complained that John Lewis, the congressman and civil rights leader, was “all talk.” His criticism came after Lewis said he would not attend the inauguration because he didn’t think Trump won the election fairly.
But Aversa said Trump can bring people together, even Clinton supporters, by producing more jobs for all people.
“Donald Trump ran for president not for himself, or a political action committee, or a lobbyist,” Aversa said. “He did this out of a pure interest in helping this country.”
Aversa is married and the mother of three. She has nine grandchildren.
Wanted Son to Watch History
Sarah Swanson Partridge is from Glasgow, Montana. She wanted to take her 15-year-old-son, Cale Swanson, to see America’s peaceful change of government power in person.
She does not quite know what to expect from the Trump presidency, though she says he was the best choice for president. “I hope he takes the country in the right direction,” she said.
Her son, Cale, is more certain Trump will makes thing better.
“I think he’ll surprise a lot of people and do a good job,” he said. “He will probably make it easier for people to own a gun and hunt in Montana. It is really hard to do that right now.”
His mother operates stores in Montana that sell farm equipment.
Happy His County Went Big for Trump
Greg Homan says his Ohio county gave Trump a bigger percentage victory than any other county in Ohio. Eighty percent of Mercer County voters chose Trump.
“I think it is exciting to be part of the celebration and welcome a new president,” Homan said before making the trip to Washington for Friday’s inauguration.
“He (Trump) is not a politician and isn’t the most polished speaker,” Homan said. “But I look at his experience in business, all his success, so I feel very good he can produce what the American people want.”
Homan, 42, is a father of seven, a county legislator and a professor at an Ohio college teaching classes on agriculture and leadership.
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Words in This Story
oath - n. a formal and serious promise to tell the truth or to do something
resonate - v. to have particular meaning or importance for someone
poll - n. an activity in which several or many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to get information about what most people think about something
comfortable - adj. causing no worries
bull in a china cabinet – this is an idiom that means he says and does things that anger and upset people
lobbyist - n. a person who works to get government officials to act on their client’s interests
polished - adj. very skillful