« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Patrick Springer, Published January 20 2009

Mental images stir emotions in Fargo man visiting D.C. for inauguration

Dan Hannaher brought a camera with him to record events as they unfolded today at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

But he also has a reel of striking mental images that he captured as he looked down Pennsylvania Avenue and saw the presidential motorcade approach the inaugural site.

Every direction he looked he saw a sea of humanity.

As the motorcade advanced, he could see – and hear – the enthusiastic crowd react as the new president passed by.

“Just the muffled reaction of the joy that you could hear across the city,” he said.

As he looked toward the towering Washington Monument, he saw thousands of people waving U.S. flags that had been passed out for the occasion.

After the speech, with its soaring rhetoric about national unity, sacrifice and perseverance, the import of the occasion was punctuated by the cannon roar of a 21-gun salute.

“It was one of those physical sensations,” Hannaher said. “The ground rumbled when they fired.”

Hannaher, a Fargo businessman who was Obama’s North Dakota campaign chairman, was thinking he might catch the end of the inaugural parade.

Tonight, he might head to the lobby of the Willard Hotel, a historical landmark near the White House, and the residence of Abraham Lincoln when he served in Congress.

Just maybe he will catch a glimpse of two African American children, Obama’s daughters, playing on the White House lawn.

That, he said, would be an image that will help change the country and how it pictures itself.