Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inauguration stands go up, military gears up

Here are some photos I took depicting the state of Washington DC's preparations for the inauguration ceremonies. AP reports:
The District of Columbia is preparing for 2.5 million to 3 million people for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration and may close a major freeway that day to make room for tour bus parking, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said Friday.

No one knows exactly how many people will come to the city, though officials are expecting "a record crowd," Fenty said. The city is preparing for the maximum possible number of people who could fill the National Mall and the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.
City officials have said they are expecting about 10,000 tour buses to bring groups to the inauguration.

Reuters reports that the military will play a major roll in preparing for the inauguration:
In a session with defense writers, Renuart said about 7,500 active duty military and roughly 4,000 National Guard troops will participate in the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

According to AP, the military build-up in preparations for the inauguration includes:
Ground-based air defenses include Norwegian Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, and truck-mounted Avenger air defense systems with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports:
The preparations come against a backdrop of heightened security concerns over the presidential transition. The Bush administration is planning to provide the president-elect with a series of contingency plans for potential international emergencies, including terrorist strikes, that could occur after Obama has taken the oath of office.
Given that -- in addition to police and secret service -- some 11,500 troops from Northern Command will also be on duty, participation by the military in the preparations for the swearing-in of President-Elect Obama may well be the most extensive ever.

Photos: by Jotman.

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