I've watched a number of inaugurations in my day. I think Kennedy was my first where I knew what was happening. That gives you bean counters out there something to go on!
Today was historic for a number of reasons, and not only because the first black man elected to office became one of a few Presidents to take the oath of office a second time. Seventeen, I think they said the number was.
I have to say that for me, the most indelible moment was after it was done, and the Presidential Party was exiting the podium area. The main camera out front was filming his exit, and caught him as he entered the doors into the building, where, normally, you would begin to lose sight of him.
At that moment, he stopped and turned around. Not to talk to the crowd, but to look behind him, down the Mall. I know that he'd just finished a 19 minute speech where he stood out there in front and addressed that crowd, but this was special - a private moment in the middle of a crowd for a very public man.
Take a look.
At that moment, he took the opportunity to do what I would have been tempted to do - to take that last possible chance to look back, to savor a moment that very few human beings get to see - hundreds of thousands, if not a million people or more - come to see you. To know, in those few moments that all of the hoopla, all the pageantry, all the attention of the day, was focused on nobody else but you.
And he wanted, in a very human way, to stop and take a look at something he will remember for the rest of his life. This is the highlight, the pinnacle of his career. Never again will this many people come to one place to see him.
It seems he wanted to take some of that away with him.
Good for you, Mr. President! You worked for it, you deserve it. Savor it, let it roll slowly through the memory spaces of your mind for as long as it takes.