- The Washington Times
Friday, January 20, 2017

The impending rain didn’t deter inauguration watchers from streaming through security checkpoints Friday morning to take in the day’s festivities.

By 10 a.m., parade watchers lined Pennsylvania Avenue from the Trump International Hotel to the White House, vying for prime viewing spots.

Though the crowds inside the security perimeter were largely Trump supporters wearing all variety of “Make America Great Again” paraphernalia, some who didn’t support the incoming president made the trip simply because any inauguration is a historic event.

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“This is a time to gather and celebrate the democratic process,” Royce Mizoguchi, an American University student, said as he stood along the parade route. “I didn’t stop being American because Trump was elected president.”

Mr. Mizoguchi said attending the inauguration is an important way to show respect for the presidential office regardless of who wins the election.

“This is American culture,” he said.

Earlier in the morning, lines to get through security and into Mr. Trump’s inauguration festivities backed up for blocks, but supporters who braved the break of dawn had no regrets.

Mark Fiels traveled from Buffalo, New York, to get a good spot along the parade route to see the man he supported. He had been waiting at the security checkpoint at 13th and E streets Northwest since the early morning and by 7 a.m. was in place for the noon swearing-in of the 45th president.

The biggest issue of the campaign for Mr. Fiels was the disappearance of working-class jobs. He thinks Mr. Trump will bring more jobs back to the U.S. and help the working class thrive again.

“I think he’ll fix the damage Obama’s done to the economy,” Mr. Fiels said. “We’ve already seen companies decide not to move jobs out of the country, and he hasn’t even become president yet.”

David Smith, who came from his home in Olney, Maryland, to see the inauguration, stood with Mr. Fiels and nodded his head in agreement.

“He’s not a politician,” Mr. Smith said. “He’s not bought and paid for by lobbyists. His business sense will be good for this country.”

Isaiah Senchyshyn, Isaac Senchyshyn and Matt Burch — all Trump supporters — rode together from Cooperstown, New York, with a friend who came to protest the inauguration.

“Politically, we disagree, but I don’t involve politics in my friendships,” said Isaiah, sitting at a coffee shop at 11th and F streets Northwest. “And I respect the right to protest.”

He said the most important issues of the election to him were national security and border security. He said Mr. Trump isn’t afraid to speak his mind and that could be a better way to deal with foreign leaders.

“Donald Trump is the kind of guy who can get things done,” Isaiah Senchyshyn said. “We don’t need another politician running America.”

Isaiah’s twin brother, Isaac, said he thought Mr. Trump would best support the LGBTQ community.

He recounted a story of meeting Mr. Trump at a rally in Albany, New York, and said the incoming president was thoughtful and kind.

“I’ve never thought Trump was LGBTQ-unfriendly,” said Isaac Senchyshyn, who is gay. “He’s really a caring person.”

For others, illegal immigration was the issue that influenced them to vote for Mr. Trump.

Rachel Teufert, a college student and first-time voter from Northern Virginia, was concerned about unscreened immigrants siphoning U.S. resources.

“I’m not against people coming to this country,” Mr. Teufert said. “But I am against those people getting handouts. You have to contribute before you benefit from our system.”

Daniel Roth, a high school student from Dumfries, Virginia, said he was confident that Mr. Trump would push for stricter immigration laws and prioritize domestic issues.

Daniel initially supported Carly Fiorina in the Republican primary race but didn’t hesitate to vote for Trump in the general election.

“As a free and prosperous country, we should extend a hand of kindness to immigrants,” he said. “But only after we fix ourselves.”

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