Crowds began arriving here Thursday to praise and protest the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Friday.
“Awesome! It’s very exciting,” said Vivian Moya, a Trump supporter who emigrated to the United States from Cuba when she was age 2.
She said a Trump presidency will mean more jobs for inner cities so they will prosper like she was a child 50 years ago.
“He’s a businessman,” she said. “He knows how to create jobs and make deals.”
She and her son, Roberto, are taking vacation time away from the family’s medical and financial services business in Miami.
“I think he’s taking on the corruption in politics,” said Roberto, 22, a Florida State University graduate. “The system has been corrupt for decades.”
He recently bought the red “Make America Great” hats they both sported.
“I told him it’s the best present he ever got me!” his mother said.
Marlene Katzel, 72, strongly disagrees. The retired teacher from Buffalo is attending Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.
“I fear the possible destruction of the public school system,” she said shortly after flying into Washington from Buffalo. An activist, she is also on a board for Planned Parenthood, which Trump has threatened to defund because of the organization’s support for abortion rights.
“I see our rights could be eroded,” she said.
Trump wasn’t on the mind of Lucille Gilbeitt, who flew to Washington from Quebec. She was decked out in a T-shirt adorned with President Barack Obama’s image, Obama buttons and a key chain and a hat with American and Canadian flags. It was a long trip, but she said she had to bid a fond farewell to Obama on his last full day in office.
With her arms outstretched, she belted out her favorite practiced line: “I love Barack Obama! I love America!”