Obama's Inauguration, Take Two

Due to the enormous crush of people who showed up for Barack Obama's inauguration Tuesday, many people who had tickets to the event weren't able to get to their seats. So Saturday on the National Mall, a few disgruntled (yet inventive) ticket-holders tried to re-create the experience with iPods and laptops.

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Jacki Lyden. Since Tuesday's inauguration of President Barack Obama, Washington, D.C., has echoed with the wails of people who couldn't get to their ticketed spaces. More than 5,000 of those people have found solidarity on a Facebook page called "Survivors of the Purple Tunnel of Doom." But today on Capitol Hill, a small group gathered to re-watch the ceremony on their laptops. NPR's Allison Keyes was there.

Unidentified man: We would have been right there.

ALLISON KEYES: They stood in the wind on the west side of the Capitol building. The festive red, white, and blue bunting from Inauguration Day has gone. So are the chairs where VIPs sat. All that's left is the scaffolding.

Ms. JULIE MARX(ph) (Obama Campaign Volunteer): We arrived where we were told to arrive at 6 a.m., and a very official looking police person pointed us to the tunnel, and we got in line in the tunnel.

KEYES: Obama volunteer Julie Marx is talking about the so-called Tunnel of Doom, where she and many of President Obama's campaign workers and volunteers were stuck for hours. She says only the spirit of the day kept it from getting ugly.

Ms. MARX: People were there for hours without water, without accessibility to the bathroom, without food. There were people there with little kids and elderly people kind of crushed together.

Ms. AVIA KEMPNER(ph) (Obama Campaign Volunteer): I was hoping Barack might - would have read in the paper today about this and showed up, or Michele would have invited us all into the White House.

KEYES: Volunteer Avia Kempner had a purple ticket and said she bailed from the line once she realized it wasn't moving.

Ms. KEMPNER: I went to a hotel nearby and listened and watched on TV the inauguration with a roomful of strangers, mostly African-American, and all we did was hug each other. So, at least I witnessed it.

Ms. ANNE MORRISON(ph): We couldn't get in except behind a big blockade of porta-potties.

KEYES: Washington, D.C., resident Anne Morrison was among those who brought a laptop today, so those who missed out could see the ceremony up close and personal.

Ms. MORRISON: The point is to listen to it again and watch it again and hopefully do more than get a commemorative picture. I think it's fair to be invited to hear him, meet him as a result of this. We worked on the campaign.

KEYES: Everyone here agreed that the main thing is the man they worked so hard for is now president of the United States. And despite the chaos of trying to get into the event Tuesday, the only injuries were their wounded souls. Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.

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