Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Parade carries new president down Pennsylvania Avenue

After spending more than a year on a fierce campaign trail to capture the White House, newly inaugurated president George W. Bush had only to ride less than two miles in the comfort of a presidential motorcade Saturday to reach his new home on Pennsylvania Ave.

A short distance, but a sweet victory ride for Washington’s new first family.

The Bushes were seen waving through the tinted windows as four stretch limousines rolled through Washington, to the joy of many Republicans and the agony of the thousands of protesters who lined the parade route to express their outrage at the election outcome.

The 200,000 who lined the streets, as well as the 10,900 people who marched in Saturday’s parade, were soaked to the core and huddled to keep warm as icy rain fell unmercifully from the slate gray clouds that blanketed the region.

While Bush and his family were the stars of the inaugural parade, standers-by cheered for the marching bands and cars from all 50 states that rolled down Pennsylvania Ave.

The tradition of an official inaugural parade is 150-years-old, beginning in 1941 with the inauguration of president William Henry Harrison. Impromptu parades have been a part of the presidency since the days of George Washington.

Today, the parade is billed as a salute to the new administration, and serves as a ceremonial tour down Washington’s main thoroughfare, past marble buildings and granite memorials.

by Ashley M. Heher

About 40,000 ticketed seats were available to Republican faithfuls, but most of the crowd of onlookers stood crowded in any available space behind police barricades.

The parade began shortly after 2 p.m., when the presidential escort — officially, several hundred people — escorted the motorcade. Nearly 80 groups — from military and police groups to elementary choir singers — paraded down the route.

Throughout the processional, members of the Bush entourage were seen making the “W” sign to bystanders — the Girl Scout-esque symbol of holding up the pointer, middle and ring finger.

“I voted for Bush because I thought he was the lesser of two evils,” said a sophomore at Georgetown University who stood along the parade route but did not provide his name. “But I came today to support our new president.”

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