Kansas State students brought purple into the mix of the red, white and blue at President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Abbey Horn, senior in agricultural economics, traveled 1,048 miles to Washington, D.C. not just to see the swearing in of the 45th president, but also to see the education from some of her classes, as a pre-law student, be applied to a current event.
Horn also knew this could be a once-in a-lifetime opportunity for her and knew she could not miss the historic event.
“I just kind of thought, ‘When else in my life would I ever have the opportunity to do this again?'” Horn said. “And it was really neat to be able to follow this process all the way through and see him get sworn in.”
Cody Dillon, sophomore in entrepreneurship, said even the plane ride to D.C. was one of the most patriotic experiences he has ever had.
“Our plane ride from Chicago to Washington, D.C. was full of Trump supporters that were going to different balls, so we had a great conversation with all of those people,” Dillon said. “It was a really fun plane ride. We all had our Trump stuff on and it made for a really cool atmosphere.”
Dillon said it only got more patriotic from there and it was more than just a trip to D.C. with a few of his friends, as the opportunity to see President Trump get sworn in was monumental.
“We’re all fairly conservative ourselves and thought this would be a very historic moment to see,” Dillon said. “It was totally a once-in-a-lifetime thing to see because one, it’s a Republican getting elected and second, it’s Donald Trump, which makes it even more historic because he’s not your typical politician.”
Dillon said even though he is a conservative, he is still a little shocked that Trump was elected.
“It still kind of shocks me a little bit because I’ll be honest, I did not think he would win, but I don’t think a lot of people did and being there to see his swearing in actually take place and the speech he gave about uniting America and how he is the president for all Americans, it was a very uniting moment of him trying to bring the country together,” Dillon said.
Dylan Graves, sophomore in elementary education, said he has been supportive of Donald Trump for over a year, so he jumped at the opportunity to go to the inauguration.
“It was a feeling like none other,” Graves said. “It was really special to see a guy you’ve been supportive of and who you’ve been pulling for to not only win and get the job done on TV, but to be able to go out there and witness it first hand was a great experience.”
Stars, stripes and security
This was not Horn’s first time in Washington, D.C., but she said it was certainly the craziest.
“It was nuts,” Horn said. “I have been to D.C. before with 4-H events and things like that, but this was just a whole other level of crazy. People were everywhere. It was just a whole other ball game.”
Among all the people in line for security, Horn said she even got to stand next to a potential K-Stater.
“I actually ended up standing next to a kid who just got admitted to K-State in architecture, so that was kind of cool,” Horn said. “A small world for sure.”
Graves said even though the inauguration did not start until noon, he got there at about 4:30 a.m. to get in line for security, and he did not make it to the entrance gate until 7:30 a.m.
“At least once in my mind after getting up at 3 a.m. and standing there all morning in the cold and rain while in line I started thinking, ‘Wow what are we doing?’,” Graves said. “Then when we saw it all unfold and see President Trump sworn in and the 21 Gun Salute made it a great experience and definitely worth it.”
The long lines, the flight, hotel tickets and the extra security were all worth it, Dillon said, because this was the most incredible experience he has ever had.
“Once we got to Washington we went to the welcome rally, the ‘Make America Great Again’ welcome celebration, and everyone was just cheering and they had a fireworks show at the end and that was just an incredible thing to see the newly-elected president standing there on the Lincoln Memorial with fireworks in the background,” Dillon said.
Graves said he has already told many people he knows they must go to the next inauguration if they can make it happen.
“It was a really patriotic vibe and it was really an incredible thing to get to witness American history unfold right in front of you,” Graves said. “It was really special. It was probably one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.”