Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A record number of iReports – congratulations!

While you as iReporters were documenting history yesterday, you also made history. You uploaded more than 11,000 photos and videos to iReport.com, smashing the previous record of more than 5,000 from Election Day. Plus, you sent in iReports from all seven continents, including a cruise ship in Antarctica. We used your iReports on almost all of CNN's platforms, including CNN US, CNN International, HLN, CNN.com Live, and of course CNN.com. Your photos and videos showed the inauguration from almost every viewpoint on the mall in Washington, D.C., and also from many different viewpoints around the world. They were crucial to helping CNN tell the stories of how people around the United States and the world experienced this historic day. Thank you so much for sharing them! We stayed up late last night to create this fast-paced video of many of your inauguration photos. Check it out to see some different views of history in the making -- and thank you, again, for making history yourselves.

14 Comments
January 22, 2009
Click to view Joaneheff's profile

I call it a Purple Ticket nightmare...

 

4:30 a.m. - I left my hotel and traveled by metro to the Purple gate area where my ticket showed that I needed to enter.  Someone said it was about 9 degrees, and I had dressed as warmly as I could, with a long coat, two pairs of socks, three shirts and leggings under my pants.  While we waited and chatted, getting to know each other, the people kept coming in droves.  They were all walking to the back of the line, although I noticed that a bus was blocking the street behind us some distance back. We were all in pretty good spirits, getting to know each other, laughing and talking.  One man was giving out "Free high fives!"  and later, he changed it to "Free fist bumps!"

9:00 a.m. (approx.) - A group of 14 people came and just stood next to the people in line in front of us.  Many of us who had waited so long got mad, and some were hollering:  "Stop cutting! Go to the back of the line!"  "We've been waiting since 5:00 a.m.!"  "What would Obama do?  Go to the back of the line!"  But this group would not.  One woman was bold enough to approach them, and she said that one of them told her:  "Unless you're going to beat me up, I'm not moving."  We later notice a group of about 20 police officers who were off to our right in a discussion.  The man giving out the free high fives went over to complain, but he said they wouldn't do anything about the group that had intruded.  We wondered why the 20 police officers never did anything to try and form up the line.  I notice a black female police officer giving her colleagues some kind of instructions, and then they dispersed.

10:00 a.m. (approx.) - Pretty soon, there were so many people that the space between the two buildings where we were all standing just filled up.  Many of these people had no tickets or silver tickets, and they were now beside and in front of the people in the purple line.  The only time we could find an officer was when someone collapsed or became ill.  About this time is when I felt myself unable to stand any longer (I have a bad right hip and was told last May that I needed hip surgery; however, I have no insurance so it was not an option.  I have been healing since December; however, I was disappointed to learn just prior to the Inauguration that we couldn't bring chairs.  This was a concern before I left, but I planned to sit on a poncho once I got inside to the Purple area.)  I had been trying to stand as much as I could on my left leg, and a man in front of me had been letting me lean on him, since we were all getting smushed together.  As I began to collapse, some people set me down on the curb.  I was next to another man who was laying on the sidewalk who had also collapsed, but was still conscious.  They all began shoving hand warmers into my gloves and my shoes, since the toes on my left foot were also frozen.  Ladies covered me with blankets and comforted me, since I was now shaking from hypothermia and crying.  Someone went to find a cop who came to get the man laying next to me.  They brought a woman through the crowd who was a nurse, and they sat me on a little stool that she had brought.  A while later, the cop came back to take me to an ambulance nearby.  I didn't want to go, as I was concerned I would lose my place in line.  My new friends told me they would hold my spot, and I was taken to the back bumper of an ambulance to sit with two other people.  A black woman in a big fur coat was seated next to me, and her friend was trying to comfort her.  She was an older black woman named Dorothy with a gold mink fur coat with matching hat and gold lipstick.  She was beautiful, like a "golden angel" I remember thinking.  She started covering me up with her own blankets, and I later learned she was a member of Jeremiah Wright's Trinity Church.  I suddenly felt better, and she said she had prayed for me.  They wanted to take me to the hospital, but I said no, I didn't come this far not to see President Obama get inaugurated.  I thanked the "golden angel" lady and went back to find the people where I had stood.  But it was impossible. 

10:30 a.m. (approx.) - I stood near some people in the purple line about where I thought I had been.  I never saw any police around us, except for the one who had come to take me to the ambulance. Since I'd been there so long, they didn't mind.  As we got closer to the gate, the whole crown would move in shifts, because we were all so packed together. The police were only letting about 20 people in at a time, every 10 minutes or so.  But time was running out and we were all afraid we wouldn't get inside in time.  One girl next to me told her friend, "Send a text to my sister, she works at CNN!  Tell her to get the press down here!"  I felt my hip going out again, and she mentioned this in her text, but it did no good.  They eventually left about 11:30, since they said that the gates would soon close.  There was nowhere to go and no police around.  We were so smashed together (about 40 deep) that there was also nowhere to fall if I went down.  I tried to keep a good outlook, but most people were very perturbed. One woman tried to call her congressman's office, but she was told that nothing could be done.  Every so often, we would start chanting, "Let us in!  Let us in!  Let us in!"  Many were waving their purple tickets to the police on the other side of the fence, but they ignored us.  At one point, a group of about six people just tried to push their way up to the gate.  This caused me to be squeezed me so hard that I couldn't breathe.  I yelled at them to stop, that we were all there before them and they shouldn't try to get in front of us.  At this point, they stopped trying to force their way through.  Then a man got really mad and said he had purple tickets, he and several others had worked on Obama's campaign for two years, and now they couldn't get in???? 

11:45 a.m. -  Someone said that (they had just been texted that) Biden was sworn in.  Because there were no jumbotrons, no loud speakers, we could neither see nor hear anything that was happening.   There was a couple behind me who had come all the way from Dublin, Ireland to see the Inauguration.  We yelled some more, "Let us in!  Let us in!" hoping that Obama would wait until all the people had gotten in before he took the oath.  I think it was about 11:55 a.m when they locked the gates, and I was about 20 feet away from the entrance.  Everyone was in disbelief that they would do this.  We all thought it wasn't really happening. About noon, someone said that Obama was being given the oath.  We all just stood there in shock, having missed the moment.  Someone said that a police officer inside the fence said that he had been told to lock the gates and that they had "overbooked," that this was the reason he had to lock them.  A little girl behind me started crying, and I felt sorry for her and the people from Ireland who had come all the way.  Someone threw a plastic water bottle over the fence at the cops, and a woman said, "No, don't.  He's just doing his job."  We all just stood there quietly.  Then we all sadly walked away.  CNN had already reported earlier that if you went to the swearing-in, you could not get to the parade because streets were closed.  So I took the metro back to my hotel room, went to bed exhausted, and watched the rest of it on T.V.  I later ran into the man in my group who had let me lean on his back before I collapsed.  He said he had managed to get in, that they had literally locked the gates behind him...

Joan Heffington, C.E.O.

Association for Honest Attorneys

P.O. Box 558

Derby, Kansas 67037

Ph: 316.788.0901

Fx: 316.788.7990

www.assocforhonestattys.com

January 22, 2009
Click to view tellio30's profile

hello. im a canadian,but almost feel like im an american,as me and my husband have followed the whole thing from the beginning,and we where so excited that obama made it as a president,and sure hope the people of america give him a chance to get rolling.also just love his family to.  back to the reason im here,we just like to know why the president always looked to the right or the left ,never straight ahead into the camera,when he was speaking,is this what they are suppose to do ,we are just curious about this. thank you. terry&edna

January 22, 2009
Click to view larena's profile

hello, larena here i joined on february 2008 to see OBAMA winning and i have posted everything i could to see him winning

WELCOME OUR NEW PRESIDENT BARACK H OBAMA

thanks

larena superstar number 18 today

January 23, 2009
Hi Rachel, I am figuring out how to upload a video "link" to iReports. I have tried using URLs (like, http://...) and even tried putting the source code (like:
January 24, 2009
Click to view rahc57's profile

Hi Rachel,

I enjoy i-report a lot.how do i remove 3 that didn't upload and are tking up space.

thanks Charmaine.

I had some great photos from a third grade class but not allowed to pst them. Principal states safety concerns. They were soooo good.

January 25, 2009
Click to view Corrina61's profile

Watch Obama music video done by my boyfriend

www.splurgyworld.com

 

Corrina

407 580 5293

February 13, 2009
Click to view kendala's profile

I would have liked to been able to print $879 Billion in $100 bills and loaded them onto bump trucks and unloaded them on the steps of our Nations Capitol Building so Americans could see just how much money our Government is spending.  We are going to have to pay all this back I hope everyone knows.

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April 17, 2010
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