Evan Carter | Col­legian

Wash­ington, D.C. — As Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th pres­ident of the United States Jan. 20, he promised to renew the country’s former greatness in an appeal as a champion of the common man.

“We, the cit­izens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” Trump said.

The potential for rain and numerous orga­nized protests didn’t stop several hundred thou­sands of onlookers, including numerous Hillsdale stu­dents, from attending the his­toric event. Some Trump sup­porters stood for as long as six hours, huddled in coats and ponchos, waiting to hear the inau­gural address. The crowd on the National Mall resembled an ocean of red because of the “Make America Great Again” hats.

Evan Carter | Col­legian

Freshman Sam Barke, a vol­unteer on the pres­i­dential inau­gu­ration com­mittee, stood on the press risers at the White House. While many people attending Friday’s event only saw Pres­ident Barack Obama and Trump on a screen, Barke saw them in person, leaving the White House together after coffee.

“That was probably the high­light for me, seeing Obama leave the White House for the last time as pres­ident and see Trump enter the White House for the last time as pres­ident-elect,” he said.

Chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” and “USA!” echoed as Trump’s inau­gu­ration address drew near. In a con­tin­u­ation of election ani­mosity, the crowd booed when Pres­ident Bill Clinton and former Demo­c­ratic pres­i­dential can­didate Hillary Clinton were intro­duced.

When Trump took the oath of office, the sea of Trump sup­porters raised their hands, waved American flags, and roared with cheers.

Junior Vic­toria Watson recalls the moment Trump was sworn in as surreal.

“There was a point when Trump had his hand on the Bible, and the whole capital was silent except for the pro­testors,” Watson said. “I was just over­whelmed with the fact that I was part of history.”

Right from the beginning of the speech, Trump thanked his sup­porters, promising to defend them in Wash­ington and fight the political estab­lishment.

“Today, we are not merely trans­ferring power from one admin­is­tration to another or from one party to another,” he said. “But we are trans­ferring power from Wash­ington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”

Not straying far from his cam­paign speeches, Trump repeated promises to bring back American jobs, put America first in foreign policy, strengthen the country’s borders, and heal the divi­sions in American society.

Much of the event also had a reli­gious tone, with five Christian min­isters and one Jewish rabbi offering prayers and readings from scripture. Trump also didn’t shy away from reli­gious sen­ti­ments.

“There should be no fear. We are pro­tected, and we will always be pro­tected,” he said. “We will be pro­tected by the great men and women of our mil­itary and law enforcement. And most impor­tantly, we will be pro­tected by God.”

Sup­porters came from all over the country to attend the inau­gural cer­emony.

Jamie Mor­rison of Boston, Mass­a­chu­setts said he is hopeful for the president’s promise of restoring American pros­perity.

“I think the jobs will be very key,” Mor­rison said. “If he does that in the first year, he has a very good chance of being re-elected in four years.”

Friday’s inau­gu­ration was the second for Allisa Redwick of Houston, Texas, who said she pre­vi­ously attended the inau­gu­ration of George H.W. Bush in 1988.

“I just want to see the Con­sti­tution pro­tected,” Redwick said. “I want to see our First and Second Amendment rights empowered and pro­tected. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

The inau­gu­ration attracted thou­sands of pro­testers, including Black Lives Matter activists, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sup­porters, various anar­chist groups, and preachers calling those in line for the inau­gu­ration to repent for their sins. More than 200 pro­testers were arrested, and some reportedly “antifascist” pro­testers smashed windows and burned a lim­ousine around the inter­section of 12th and K streets in downtown Wash­ington, D.C.

Barke said so many pro­testers amassed near the White House that many guests couldn’t get into their seats to view the inau­gu­ration parade. Later, he said, pro­testers harassed people in line for inau­gu­ration balls by shouting pro­fan­ities at women and squirting those in line with water guns. Barke attended the official inau­gural ball.

“Walking by the pro­testors, I couldn’t help but think, ‘You guys are the reason Trump won,’” Barke said.

Numerous other Hillsdale College stu­dents, including senior history major Drew Jenkins attended Friday’s inau­gu­ration. Jenkins said he thought the crowd on the mall was mostly tame but that he appre­ciated all of the law enforcement pro­viding security at the event.

“That was one of the biggest things that stood out to me today, that there were so much law enforcement there,” he said. “There’s no way all those [police officers] were Trump sup­porters.”

Junior John Speer, along with juniors Macy Mount and Gionna Eden, appear in the back­ground of Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” morning program.

“Ed Henry of Fox News inter­viewing people right next to us def­i­nitely helped to pass the time waiting for the inau­gu­ration to start,” Speer said. “It made the whole expe­rience even more enjoyable.”

Looking forward, Tim and Vicki Swallows of Palm Beach, Florida, said they are con­fident about the future under Trump’s admin­is­tration after hearing the inau­gural address.

“We will back in four years to watch him swear in again,” Vicki Swallows said.