POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

Presidential Inaugural 2005

by David Trumbull

December 31, 2004

As I write this I sit beside the swimming pool wearing my swimsuit and Santa cap on Christmas Day in Miami Beach. Today I'm thinking of another different sort of day, four years ago, when on January 20, 2001, we stood in the cold and damp to see George W. Bush take the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States. By the time the ceremony was over we were cold, tired and sore, and we loved it.

President Bush will be sworn in to a second term at noon on January 20, 2005. Joining him will be his family, government officials, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans who will stand on the national mall and watch. You can be one of them. If you've never attended a presidential inaugural, I urge you to go at least once in your life.

A minister chosen by the President will deliver an invocation, and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist will administer the oath. Once the oath is taken, the military will render a 21-gun salute, the Army Herald Trumpets will play “Ruffles and Flourishes” and the U.S. Marine Band will launch “Hail to the Chief.” The president will then deliver his inaugural address.

Tickets for the swearing-in ceremony are required. Your congressman can get you tickets. My congressman, Democrat, Stephen Lynch, has been very helpful getting me tickets.

The best opportunity to participate in the inaugural events is the parade. Military and civilian bands, including the Lincoln Minute Men from Lincoln, Mass., will march along a 1.7 mile-route from Capitol Hill to the White House. The parade will begin about 2:30 p.m. and will last about two hours. The parade is open to the general public. Limited bleacher seats ranging from $15-$125 are available from the Presidential Inaugural Committee. The official site for information about inaugural events is

For many the highlight of a presidential inaugural will be attending the ball Thursday night. The committee has arranged eight separate regional Inaugural Balls organized by state. Massachusetts is grouped with 14 other states plus the District of Columbia, at the Independence Ball in the Convention Center. The balls start at 7:00 p.m. and run until one o'clock in the morning. If you attend one of these official balls there is a very good chance the President will stop by briefly to acknowledge the crowd.

In addition to the official state balls, many political and other organizations will host their own balls, each with a distinctive theme. Four years ago I passed on the Massachusetts ball and attended the Free Republic Ball, with a distinctly conservative theme. I highly recommend it. Information is on their website at The entertainment at this event, as four years ago, will be Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his rock and roll band, Capitol Offense.

Other Inaugural events will likely include lectures, seminars, public entertainment, a prayer service and a presidential gala on the eve of the Inauguration. Inaugural festivities also include dozens of unofficial receptions and parties throughout Washington, D.C.


David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee; he may be contacted at (617) 742-6881 or Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.