Posted: 6:59 pm Thursday, January 19th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
President-Elect Donald Trump vowed to push with ahead with “real change” when he becomes President on Friday, telling a crowd at the Lincoln Memorial that he was ready to follow through on his campaign pledge to “Make America Great Again.”
“We all got tired of seeing what was happening,” Mr. Trump said. “And we wanted change – real change.”
“We’re going to make America great for all of our people, everybody, everybody throughout our country,” the President-Elect, said just hours before he was slated to take the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States.
Mr. Trump arrived at the Lincoln Memorial as the song “Heart of Stone” by the Rolling Stones played for the crowd; he emerged with his wife, saluted the statue of Abraham Lincoln, and then joined his family, while the crowd chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!”
Pres.-elect Donald Trump salutes the Lincoln Memorial before delivering remarks the day before Inauguration Day. pic.twitter.com/4DPUjN8oar— ABC News (@ABC) January 19, 2017
On hand to fete Mr. Trump were singers like Lee Greenwood, who sang his familiar anthem, “God Bless the USA,” along with others like the group 3 Doors Down, which performed their 2000 hit, “Kryptonite.”
The Lincoln Memorial gathering began with a bit of a pointed start, as actor Jon Voight welcomed the crowd, and immediately noted those who opposed Mr. Trump’s bid for the White House.
“We have been witness to a barrage of propaganda that left us all breathless with anticipation,” Voight began, “not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies against Mr. Trump.”
Earlier, the President-Elect had met with the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, who will give the oath of office on Friday.
Trump and Roberts met at Blair House to talk about tomorrow's swearing-in. Unable to work out Trump, Pence pre-inaugural visit to #SCOTUS— Mark Sherman (@shermancourt) January 19, 2017
In 2009, the Chief Justice stumbled over the oath given to President Obama. The two men got together the next day, and the oath was re-administered – just to be sure.
Trump supporters brimming with excitement as Inauguration arrives
Going from the Lincoln Memorial back to the U.S. Capitol, it wasn’t too hard to spot backers of President-Elect Donald Trump on the eve of his inaugural in Washington, D.C., as they swarmed outside the U.S. Capitol to take pictures, and flooded into Congressional office buildings to pick up their tickets for Friday’s swearing-in ceremony.
“Where do I go to pick up my tickets?” one woman asked me outside the Capitol, as I directed her over to the House office buildings, which were filled with people sporting Make America Great Again hats and more, thrilled to be here for Mr. Trump’s Inauguration.
There was an air of celebration in the long lines to get into each Congressional office building on Thursday afternoon, as people from all over the country emerged with a much sought after envelope holding their tickets for Friday’s ceremony.
Long line for public trying to get into one US House office building, many likely picking up Inauguration tickets pic.twitter.com/ytpMO37lL3— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 19, 2017
These two Trump supporters made it through the line, and then made their way up to the office of Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), which was buzzing with all sorts of people who were picking up their tickets.
The halls of all three House office buildings had a relaxed feel to them on Thursday afternoon, as many individual offices offered up snacks and drinks for those arriving to pick up tickets, as the halls were filled with pizza boxes, potato chips, drinks, salsa and chips, and more.
Ohio 5th District's Inauguration Open House is now open and people are arriving! pic.twitter.com/7zjlmDxrnf— U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (@boblatta) January 19, 2017
In almost every hallway, there was someone excitedly clutching their official envelope – with inaugural tickets inside – as they eagerly consulted maps to figure out where they would be the next day for the big event.
“Where are you all from?” said an older man with a syrupy southern voice to some folks who joined him in an elevator, as he ambled down the hall to pick up his pair of tickets.
Around each corner, there seemed to be someone snapping pictures of people who had just emerged from another Congressional office.
Some got to get their picture with their local lawmaker as well, like this shot with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
It’s too bad the Inauguration wasn’t on Thursday, as the weather forecast includes “periods of rain” on Friday – we’ll see if holds off. Highs are expected to be in the 40’s.
“I don’t care frankly if it’s going to beautiful, or if it’s going to rain like crazy,” Mr. Trump said at his event at the Lincoln Memorial.
“I have a feeling it’s going to be beautiful.”