Central students experience Trump’s inauguration, D.C. Women’s March

Zain Habib, Co-Business Manager

Every four years, a new president is sworn in and millions of people either crowd the streets of Washington or tune in on their televisions. It is always a celebrated event that marks a new beginning for America. In the past, Jan. 20 has always been filled with excitement and joy for the next four years.

This year, though, Inauguration Day had a slightly different tone to it. With one of the most controversial presidents in American history about to enter his term at the White House, tensions were high in the nation’s capital as protesters crowded the streets of D.C.

Nonetheless, Naperville Central teacher Donna Mohn continued the tradition of attending the ceremony with other Central students. EF Tours hosted the tour for Central and hundreds of other high schools attending the inauguration.

“[Attending the inauguration is] really one of the coolest experiences ever,”  Mohn said.  “Everytime I go, everyone always has a blast.”

This was Mohn’s third time hosting the trip. The first year was 2009, when 28 students and two other teachers attended the event. This year, only eight students signed up, but that didn’t stop Mohn from moving ahead with the plan.

The duration of the tour was four days. The group visited all the major landmarks, the Capitol Building, Mount Vernon and other venues. The main event was on the Friday, and it lasted the entire day. Early in the morning, the group quickly grabbed breakfast from the hotel and rushed to Capitol Hill. The entire day was very hectic.

“On Inauguration Day, everything is crazy,” Mohn said. “Everything is very restricted and security is everywhere. The worst part is the long bathroom lines.”

On top of the normal craze, this year’s inauguration was filled with demonstrations. The Naperville Central group attended the Women’s March on Saturday, accompanying almost 500,000 protesters.

“Students wanted to go to the Women’s March,” Mohn said. “Initially, my answer was no. But as I looked at the crowd, I didn’t see anything to be afraid of, and so we had the opportunity to march with the all the protesters. It was just an amazing experience to be a part of our democracy.”

Students from Central weren’t worried by this, and still looked forward to going.

Senior Jenna Ranieri was interested in seeing how the trip would pan out.

“I [thought] the protests [would] make for interesting conversation,” Ranieri said.

The demonstrations were expected to be peaceful, and the public was assured that it would not affect the ceremony. This trip was truly unique in that not all high schools get this opportunity.

“I like the idea of being a part of a large group of people coming together as one to make history…no matter who is getting sworn in,” Ranieri said.   

After returning from the trip, students had only good things to say. Junior Tatum Satterlee enjoyed the inauguration as well as the Women’s March.

“The energy [on Inauguration day} was really crazy,” Satterlee said. “You got the sense of passion and happiness being displayed by everyone in the crowd. On Saturday, the Women’s March was also really cool. Seeing the sea of pink hats was an amazing experience I will not forget.”