Sunday, January 18, 2009

I am definitely not alone

DC officials had been predicting that 4 million would converge on
Washington for the Inaugural, and unprecedented security measures
would make access to and within the DC area difficult.

That, plus hotel room rates that escalated to $1,000 or more a night
seems to have deterred some of those 4 million. Only half the expected
10,000 charter buses have requested parking permits, and some rooms at
centrally located hotels have opened up. Still no bargain, however, at
around $800 a night at an upscale business hotel.

But on my way across the country, there was no doubt that there are
lots of people going to witness history. Saturday night redeye flights
are not usually in high demand, but the standby lists for my flight
from San Francisco to Chicago was longer than I see for some flights
on days with cancellations. And I couldn't even get on the waiting
list for the nonstop to DC.

In Chicago, it looked the same for any flight going near DC. I am
connecting in Harrisburg, then another flight to Dulles. The first
four flights from Chicago to Dulles or National were completely full.

What is exciting is that many of the people who are headed this way
are not your everyday travelers. I saw one woman with four teenagers
in tow, lots of other families. What all of us seem to have in common
is an air of anticipation that I believe will turn the hope of today
into the reality of a better world tomorrow.

Whether it is 4 million, 3 million, or just a few of us, this is a
wonderful event for our nation and the world. Let this be the start of
a new era of peace and understanding.

Sent from my iPhone

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