Greenwood mayor braves D.C. crowds to be part of history

After standing for hours with tens of thousands of people he had never met before, he finally got to see what he came for: an Indiana native being sworn in as vice president.

The swearing in of Vice President Mike Pence, a fellow Hoosier, is a memory Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers will cherish.

“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, where you get invited, and get to go see a friend of yours get sworn in as vice president,” Myers said.

Myers was already in Washington D.C. last week attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and got an invite to attend the inauguration of Pence and President Donald Trump.

That day, walking to the U.S. Capitol was significantly easier than driving, due to all the traffic and closed roads. So, Myers walked 2.5 miles there, and then 2.5 miles back, easily meeting his step goal before the morning was over, he said.

He passed through multiple security checkpoints, and was finally directed to his spot to watch the inauguration. He stood for about six hours, crammed in with thousands of others. But from where he was, he could easily see the platform, and multiple large screens were set up as well, he said.

When it came time for Pence to take the oath of office, Myers could see the emotions on the vice president’s face, and could feel them himself, he said.

“I was emotional in the crowd that Mike Pence, a hometown hero, is now vice president,” Myers said.

Once the event was over, it was time for him to make the trek back to his hotel, at one point, going through an area of protestors that was quickly turning into a riot, he said.

He made it through, but when he was only a few minutes past the area, Myers heard police setting off flash bangs and the noise when a limousine was set ablaze by rioters, he said.

But Myers is still pleased he made the trip, not only getting to see Pence sworn in, but also learning about different initiatives and funding opportunities for cities across the nation, he said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.