Among the crowd gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for Friday’s presidential inauguration ceremony was Pettis County Republican Chairwoman Carla Young.
Young, who also serves as chairwoman for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District and 52nd Legislative District and is a member of Missouri’s Republican Party committee, attended Friday’s events with her husband. She had only positive things to say about the inauguration ceremony.
“It was great, everyone was in such an upbeat mood, everyone was excited,” Young said by phone as she stood along the parade route waiting for the parade to start Friday afternoon. “There were families, little children there to witness the event. … The crowd was yelling ‘USA,’ ‘Trump, Trump’ all the time we were waiting — people got there at 4 or 5 a.m. (Friday). The crowd was all excited for the next chapter in our history, turning the page.”
Young said the ceremony was a “wonderful event” and “history in the making,” noting that the crowd joined in singing “America the Beautiful” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir after Vice President Mike Pence was sworn in.
If looking at the crowd, Young said she was to the left of the Washington Monument during the inauguration ceremony and she was able to hear President Donald Trump’s speech through the numerous speakers throughout the National Mall.
“I thought it was very inclusive, he wanted to let the people have the power, he hit all the points he’s been saying all along,” Young said of Trump’s speech. “It was not a speech about anything other than about the people, it wasn’t about anyone, it wasn’t about him, it was about everything and he wants us to all get along and put America back on the right course. People were applauding at that part.”
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, serves as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and spoke several times during various events Friday. The Missouri State Chorale from Missouri State University in Springfield also performed one song, “Now We Belong.”
“What an honor (for the choir) and for Roy to be up there, Missouri was well-represented,” Young said. “The choir did a great job, we were very proud. It was really great, they did a fantastic job, everyone (performing) has.”
For those citizens who watched Friday’s inauguration events on TV, many saw the protests breaking out throughout the day just blocks from the presidential parade route. Young said she was getting texts all day from concerned family and friends asking if she was OK, but she said she felt safe all day and never felt threatened.
“I haven’t even seen a riot and I walked all over between the White House and the capitol,” Young said. “The few protesters I have seen, they were respectful. The military, National Guard is here, everyone has done an outstanding job at making everyone feel welcome here in Washington.”
She added that despite the massive crowds and police everywhere, she hadn’t encountered any pushing or shoving and received help on directions from police officers.
Friday evening, Young and her husband attended the Freedom Ball, one of several inauguration balls hosted in Washington, D.C. It was one of only three inauguration balls Trump and his wife, Melania, were scheduled to attend.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.