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Security snafus left inauguration ticket holders stranded, missing it all

This is unreall these people have to be beyond p*ssed. You score a coveted ticket from the office of your member of Congress that will allow you to see the inauguration of the first black president, the chance of a lifetime. But you missed it all because you are stuck in a security nightmare that leaves you and thousands of others who traveled thousands of miles for the event. (WaPo):

At least 4,000 people with coveted blue or purple tickets to the presidential inauguration were blocked from entering the U.S. Capitol grounds yesterday because too many tickets were distributed, entry procedures bogged down and security officials were overwhelmed by surging crowds at several gates.

“We stood, and we stood, and we went nowhere. By the end, people were shouting and pushing,” said District resident Marion Goldin, 68. “We waited until we heard them playing ‘Hail to the Chief,’ and then we knew it was too late. Those tickets were so sacred to us, and we never even got close.”

Some people said they were stuck for up to four hours in the Third Street tunnel, where there was little security or official guidance. The slow-moving lines of ticket holders grew more chaotic and confused as the morning wore on. Before 11 a.m., one man said, they emerged to see locked gates where they had expected to enter.

…More than 200 people who endured that particular ordeal posted entries later on a Facebook page called “Survivors of the Purple Tunnel of Doom.”

…As cannons fired to announce the new president, a middle-aged African American man stood outside the closing gates and began to weep silently. Nearby, an African American woman in a wheelchair drew a blanket tighter around her shoulders and closed her eyes. The moment of a lifetime had passed.

Now staying home and watching the days’ events with all of you in the Blend chat room seems by far the better decision than standing in the cold and possibly missing everything, not to mention bad cell service so I wouldn’t be able to effectively report.

We had a great time gabbing live; the coffeehouse chat room has moved over to the right-hand column for those of you who want to discuss the issues of the day in real time.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding