WASHINGTON, D.C. – The crowds have cleared, street closures lifted and clean up underway after hundreds of thousands filled the city for two historic and competing political events.
“You definitely can feel the tension. If people would just remember that really we’re all just wanting the same thing,” said Ashley Butenschoen from Lynden. “No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we could all come together. We want peace; we want a safe country. We want our country united.
Butenschoen and her husband attended the inaugural ceremony and ball, where she says he asked the crowd for their opinion on the future his Twitter account.
“At the ball, he was speaking for a moment before the dance, and he paused and asked everyone, ‘Should I keep my Twitter account?’ And everybody just erupted. They loved it. They wanted him to continue and not stop,” said Butenschoen. “I think it would be a good thing to have, as long as he keeps the advice of the advisors around him, keeps it presidential.
President Trump took to Twitter Sunday to comment on the massive Women’s March Saturday. One tweet, in part, asked, “Why didn’t these people vote?” Another said, “peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy.”
A large contingent from Western Washington was among the overwhelming crowds that flooded the National Mall for the hours-long rally and march.
“I think it was really important for as many people to be in D.C. as possible to make the biggest statement that we could, to let everybody in Washington know, Washington, D.C. that is, we’re not going to lay down. We’re not going to be quiet.”
Graves, who marched with her sister and nephew, bought a homemade sign with her displaying the names of Seattleites who couldn’t make it to D.C.
“It was just a strong, palpable feeling of hope and determination,” she said. “It seems to me like a beast has been awakened. There’s been a divide that’s been happening below the surface for many many years, and what this election has done has ripped the lid off.”
“All the people who sat and thought I’m not going to vote, no more. Everybody is coming together, and everybody is politically awake, and I think it’s awoken a giant that’s going to push back so hard.”
A mass of signs from the demonstration lined the perimeter of the White House Saturday. By Sunday, most of the signs had been cleared, but critics of President Trump promised continued protests.
“I think if they have an open mind they can see that he really wants to work for all Americans, no matter who you are,” said Butenschoen.
“I think going forward here, he’s going to have to stick to what he promised and really working in our inner cities, working with women, continuing to meet with other groups and diverse groups. He’s going to have to show maybe his past isn’t who he is now.”
Copyright 2016 KING