Faces of America: Stories of Trump inauguration attendees

Friday, January 20, 2017 08:33PM
(Photo/Mike Waterhouse)
WASHINGTON - Ordinary Americans who want to show their support for Donald Trump made their way to Washington to witness the 45th president's inauguration.

They were all in D.C. for different reasons -- whether it be personal or for their political party. We gathered some their stories and put a face with the name. Read them below.

David Chmielowski and his sister Patty | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The siblings said they tried to get tickets, but couldn't get them. David's son is serving in the Air Force in Korea and watched the inauguration from overseas.

David: "I came out here to participate in the celebration of the United States being great again. We had eight years of failure, disdain and people just not being together. There's too much division between the left and the right. Donald Trump will try and make that better for all of us. I believed in him from the get-go."

On coming to the inauguration: "I don't have too many days left. I never did it before and I admire that man up there, number 45, I admire him immensely."

On witnessing the inauguration: "I was ecstatic. I still have tears in my eyes. I love this United States of America."

Brandon Stuart | Orange Beach, Alabama

Stuart made the trip to the inauguration with his college roommate.

"I'm in school at the University of Alabama right now. We just thought now is the perfect time to see history. Trump was just elected -- it's huge deal for our country and a huge deal for the world, because this election affects so many people in so many countries. We just wanted to be a part of it, honestly. I'll never forget this day, and I'll tell my kids about it some day."

On the cigar: "Victory, baby. It's a victory cigar. All about the victory. I had it in my house, one of my buddy's dads gave me a huge bag of them. So I figured what other place to do it?"

Kody Ahrens (19) and Kirston Stover (18) | East Prospect (York County), Pennsylvania

These longtime friends said this was the first election they could vote in, and they were glad to be able to make it in-person.

Kody: "We decided to come out here because this is the first inauguration that we wanted to see the president of. We weren't interested in the other presidents. President Trump probably is the reason we came. It feels amazing. It was horrible to wait in the line but once you're in it's great."

On the shirts, Kody says: "We got matching shirts. She bought them online. Pretty nice."

Kirston: "It's pretty nerve-racking being here but it's pretty great at the same time. Being around so many people for our country, it's just an amazing feeling."

Paris Ealy | Canyon Lake, Texas

"This is the fifth inauguration that I've come to. I wanted to come because it's kind of like a tradition for me. My husband was in the military and we were stationed here once. I started coming to Clinton's, Bush's and Obama's, so I happened to be out here for this one. I'm going to come (Saturday) to the Women's March, and so I get to come to two great things on a weekend. The Women's March is not to protest this, but it's just for women's rights and equality."

James MacLeod and Liam Gardner | Newport, New Jersey

These two are part of a bigger group that came to the inauguration. They said the lines were so long, they didn't make it into the mall before the ceremony was over. But they watched via live stream on their phones. They said they were supporting Hillary Clinton in the election, but...

MacLeod: "We booked way before we knew (Trump) was going to get in, so it was kind of a chance between both. But we paid for everything so we still came along to kind of show support and kind of be part of the culture, as well."

On the event, Gardner said: "We wanted to be here just to experience the event more than anything. We're living in the U.S. for a year, so might as well come to one of the most historic events."

The Adamsons: Rodney, Mary Catherine, Kendall, Keaton, Khloe | Washington, D.C.

The Adamsons live in Washington, D.C., but are originally from Kentucky.

"It was important just to see history in its making. We're huge supporters of what goes on, and we're trying to share the history with the children. We stood in lines for a long time this morning trying to get in, but when we made it (Trump) was conducting his inauguration speech. It does mean something for us to be here."

Brian Harrington | Oceanside, California

Brian Harrington of Oceanside, California, worked for the Trump campaign during the election. He travelled alone for his first trip to Washington D.C. to see the inauguration.

"I worked on the campaign in California calling battleground states so I'm excited to come here and see the swamp get drained. (Being here) feels more quiet and less controversial than it feels on TV and the Internet. So, honestly, I'm just humbled to be a part of it."

Paul Ramirez and Richard Quirk | Downey, California

"We've been proud Donald Trump supporters from June 16, 2015. As a Latino, and actually as a gay married couple, we're happy to break the stereotype and we support the Trump administration and are very proud of the direction the country is going in over the next eight years."

Jack and Margaret Massari | Nashville, Tennessee

Jack: "We've been to a few other inaugurations, and that was a long time ago. But this was one we didn't think we should miss."
Margaret: "We're expecting a lot of fun and to be in the right place at the right time."
Jack: "It's a great celebration of America."

Anissa Owen | Nashville, Tennessee
Owen said she drove 11 straight hours to get to Washington for the event, and got a speeding ticket on the way.

"We came out here because we're huge Trump fans and we bought into the 'Make America Great Again.' So we're just super excited."

On the shirt: "A friend of mine made it. She has a little heat press at her home and I'm like 'I need a cool Trump shirt.' So she made it for me."
On the ticket: "The state trooper was super, super nice. He asked who we were supporting, and I said 'oh Trump.' He grinned and said 'oh good.'"

Steve Willard and Vivian Broach | Raleigh, North Carolina

Willard and Broach said this is the first inauguration they've attended. They said they that even though they're only a few states away, they likely would have made the trip if they lived on the west coast.

Vivian: "I've been following the election closely, so wanting to see America change and go back to its conservative roots that are focused on God. Trump was the better of two candidates. I wanted to make that trek (to the inauguration) because I was so involved in the election this year I just wanted to see through to finalization."

Willard: "(We're expecting) a lot of excitement. I think we'll hear some good speeches. Hopefully, it's a peaceful transition. Tomorrow is day one of the next four years, and we're looking forward to that."

Marshall Polston | Orlando, Florida

Polston is a 20-year-old who works as a campaign manager and get out the vote efforts.

"I'm here to support Donald Trump and his transition into the presidency. The last president I would have supported this thoroughly was George Bush and I wasn't old enough at that time to come here on my own. I work in politics now and this is something I enjoy participating in. Not just for that reason, but also as a civic participation."

Victor Cotto | Palm Bay, Florida

"(Donald Trump) is not a politician. I wanted a businessman with the skills to correct the problems with our finances in this country. I think he's strong enough to do so. Yeah, he's a little rough around the edges, but I think we need a good kick in the backside every once in a while -- and I think he'll do that. I take pride in the presidency and our democracy and our way of life. So coming here personally for the first time is a big deal. It's huge. It's YUGE! Ha, if I can say that? I'm proud of what's going on and the way it happened."

Larissa Exum | Napa, California

"It is quite the trek across the country but it's something I was dreaming of doing, always coming to D.C., but especially for Trump's inauguration. It feels like a dream come true that we have tickets to be here for this day, and I couldn't be more excited. Personally, I guess it was more like a victory. All of the polls, everything was against us -- reading all of the news, the media, it really gave us no hope. But we still held on and I feel like for us being here is shows we really did have a victory."

Marly Caro | Wayne, New Jersey

"I'm a big supporter of Mr. Trump. I was with him all through the campaign, and we're here to celebrate this great moment. We're very proud that he made it, and I think he'll be great for the whole world and great for America."
On the outfit: "That's the way I am with this man. I have everything for him. I have the gold card with Trump supporters, shirts, mugs, stickers. Whatever is Trump I buy it. Because I think he is the right person for the job."

Connor Powers | Opp, Alabama

Connor, 8 years old, travelled by car with his parents to attend his first inauguration.

"I'm excited because I've never went [sic] to Washington D.C. before and I'm excited to see Trump. I already saw him one time, that was in Pensacola at a rally. It was cool."
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