Salem couple enjoys inauguration 

  • Cindy MacDonald strains to see what’s going on at the Presidential Inauguration on Friday in Washington, D.C. Elodie Reed / Monitor staff

  • Salem couple Larry and Cindy MacDonald clap just after Donald Trump is sworn in as President on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. The pair were two of 198 Granite Staters who were given tickets by Rep. Annie Kuster's office. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Cindy MacDonald, of Salem, walks with ticket-holders past protestors to the Presidential Inauguration ceremony Friday in Washington, D.C. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Salem resident Cindy MacDonald smiles as the Presidential Inauguration crowd leaves Capitol Hill and approaches some protestors on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Cindy and Larry MacDonald pass an armored vehicle in the streets of Washington, D.C. on the day of the Presidential Inauguration. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Larry MacDonald sports a button he received from a C-SPAN representative Friday in Washington, D.C. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Larry and Cindy MacDonald look through their maps and brochures - pretzels in hand - to see what time the Inaugural Parade was Friday. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Larry MacDonald takes a photo on his iPhone during Donald Trump's swearing-in ceremony Friday. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Cindy MacDonald puts her hand over her heart for the National Anthem played after the Presidential Inauguration. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

  • Larry MacDonald holds out his ticket to the Presidential Inauguration,. He and his wife, Cindy, won four tickets through the office of Rep. Annie Kuster. Elodie Reed—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 1/22/2017 12:21:32 AM

Cindy MacDonald admitted she could have had a much better view on the television in her Salem home, but making the trek to Washington, D.C. to see Donald Trump sworn in as president, in person, was totally worth it. 

In between straining to see over the heads of the thousands of people in front of her, Cindy said, “It’s a once in a lifetime moment.” 

Cindy, 60, and her husband, Larry, 59, brushed aside every inconvience to make good on the Presidential Inauguration tickets they won through the office of Rep. Annie Kuster. 

They drove overnight Tuesday into Wednesday to get to their friend’s house in Maryland. They braved crowded Metro trains, skipped meals and walked many miles between Washington, D.C. museums, monuments and experiences. 

“When you come in for the first time and see these buildings, and what they stand for – it makes you proud of your country,” Cindy said.

Referring to the change in party power about to take place, she added, “I think we have the greatest government in the world.”

Larry said he was particularly inspired by the pre-inauguration party the night before, listening to country music singers and a speech by actor Jon Voight.

“It felt good,” he said. “I felt like it was a real patriotic event.”

Cindy remarked how welcome she and her husband felt in the city, too – they were worried somewhat about being identified as Trump supporters, and being harrassed. 

“Coming here – it was in my head, I hope we’re safe,” MacDonald said. 

They were in good company on Friday, when they and hundreds of thousands of other people – many donning the red “Make America Great Again” hats – started making their way through crowds, security lines and protestors towards the main event U.S. Capitol.

Once they entered the ticketed standing area there, they chatted with the Rhode Island family next to them that happened to own a home in New Hampshire. They stood uncomplainingly through several periods of drizzly rain and laughed at the various shenanigans.

One fight briefly broke out over who was next in a line for the port-a-potty.

When chants broke out and individuals booed at Hillary Clinton entering the inauguration stage, Cindy pressed her lips together. 

“Now see, I don’t like that,” she said. “That’s like when the Democrats boo Trump.”

Larry agreed he felt for Clinton, adding that he thought she must have known what was coming that day. 

“I don’t want to embarrass her or anything like that,” he said. Though it may have been even more awkward, he added, if Bill Clinton came alone. 

When it came time for the main event – the swearing-in ceremony and Trump’s speech – the couple was engrossed. Both said they voted for Trump for their children, worried about the economy and the country’s security down the road.

They both clapped at Trump’s phrase, “It’s only going to be America first.” They smiled throughout his speech. They also grinned when they passed protestors on their way out. 

Larry said exercising free speech “is what it’s all about.”

“Even though I hate crowds,” Cindy added, “hearing all of this, seeing all of this – you don’t get that on TV.”

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