WASHINGTON, D.C. — “It’s going to change the country.”
Those words spoken by U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Chattanooga) encapsulated the mood and the attitude of the hundreds of thousands …
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “It’s going to change the country.”
Those words spoken by U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Chattanooga) encapsulated the mood and the attitude of the hundreds of thousands who filled the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Friday as Donald J. Trump took the Constitutional oath of office to become the nation’s 45th president.
Trump was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts at noon, which was immediately preceded by the vice presidential oath taken by Vice President Mike Pence from Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas.
Threats of a disruption by nature’s rain never occurred as crowds braved cooler than expected temperatures and only found themselves dodging the occasional sprinkles from a partly cloudy sky.
After laying his hands on two Bibles — one used by Abraham Lincoln and the other presented to him by his mother — the new president said there was now “a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore the promise of its people.”
“Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning,” Trump said. “Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”
The crowd in attendance, which represented a wide spectrum of races and creeds, cheered loudly when the new president spoke of how the Washington establishment “protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
“That all changes — starting right here and right now, because this is your moment. It belongs to you,” Trump said. “Jan. 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
Trump said great schools, great neighborhoods and good jobs “are just and reasonable demands of a righteous people and a righteous public.”
“But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists,” the new president said. “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”
“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump said bringing the thousands standing in front of him to a loud roar of approval.
Trump also spoke of a new focus by the federal government.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” he said. “From this day forward, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
Trump spoke of improvements to the nation’s infrastructure when he said the nation would build “new roads and highways and bridges, and airports, and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.”
The president said old alliances across the globe would be “reinforced” and new ones would be formed.
He also said America would “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
Trump said a united America “is unstoppable.”
“We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we will be protected by God,” Trump said bringing one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon.
The president also threw the gauntlet down to the members of Congress.
“We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action — constantly complaining but never doing anything about it,” Trump said. “The time for empty talk is over. Now is the hour of action.”
Trump ended his 16-minute inaugural address with the mantra, which eventually carried him to the White House.
“Together, we will make America great again,” he said.
In an exclusive comment to the Daily Banner, Gov. Bill Haslam commented on President Trump’s address.
“I thought it was a great speech,” the governor said. “I think it continued the themes he talked about during the campaign. I think everybody appreciated the fact he was clear about what he said.”
Adding a note of humor, Haslam said he heard several people say to him, “maybe because I’m a politician, it’s nice to hear somebody talk short.”
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis was also in the nation’s capital to witness the moment in history.
“I thought it was a great speech,” Davis said. “It was short. It said all the right things. It proved how in touch with the people of America that Donald Trump really is.”
Cleveland businessman Allan Jones, who has been an ardent supporter of Trump, also praised the new president’s words.
“I thought it was wonderful,” Jones said. “He gives hope to America and it gives hope to the employers of America for the first time in eight years.”
“I thought the inaugural speech delivered what Trump promised in the campaign,” said U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Sherwood). “I think we’re on the right track and I’m anxious to get to work with him. I think Washington is going to be different. I thought a lot of people where shaking in their boots up there on the inaugural stand.”
Fleischmann called the speech “good and substantive.”
“It was upbeat and I’m glad he’s there,” Fleischmann said. “We’re ready to go. It’s going to change Washington and it’s going to change the country.
The day was not without incident.
Several protesters were scattered around the area.
In one instance, two limousines had their windows broken out, and one was set on fire along the inaugural parade route. However, according to Bradley Countian Jeff Hall who was near the scene, the number of protestors appeared larger on television than may have been portrayed on television coverage.
“The line of protestors was not as deep as the line of policemen,” Hall said.
Several media outlets were reporting local officials had made more than 200 arrests during the day.
Protesters were espousing the benefits of socialism, questioning the new president’s ethics, and a host of other special interests.
One group of approximately 45 approached the bus carrying a group of Republicans from Bradley and Hamilton counties. They were led by a young man carrying a red flag with the hammer and sickle symbol from the former Soviet Union.
Members of the group yelled obscenities and used specific fingers to show their displeasure with the Trump supporters.
Some members of the group hit on the sides of the bus, but there was no damage and the incident ended almost as quickly as it began,.
The group did have what appeared to be their own film and sound crew bringing up the rear of their trek down the street.
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