Bush Inauguration Provides Plenty of Pageantry
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KWAME HOLMAN: The pageantry continued into the afternoon with the traditional inaugural luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall with congressional leaders, members of the cabinet and Supreme Court and other honored guests. After lunch, President Bush reflected on the term ahead.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. As leaders we have a common duty to achieve results for the people regardless of our political parties.
There’s important work to be done and I look forward to working with members of both Houses and of both parties to achieve that job. We have a solemn duty to protect our people and to win the war on terror and we will.
We have other vital duties and we will strive to achieve results on behalf of the people. I’m eager for the work. I’m looking forward to it and I hope you are as well. I’m looking forward to putting my heart and soul into this job for four more years.
KWAME HOLMAN: Emerging onto the newly-refurbished East front of the Capitol, the commander-in-chief and the vice president watched as a military band and fife and drum corps played.
Scores of spectators, all with tickets, had lined Pennsylvania Avenue, some waiting hours for a glimpse of the presidential motorcade and the more than 70 marching bands and floats that made up the official inaugural parade.
A one-block area along the 1.7-mile route was cordoned off for demonstrators, although many fanned out beyond it. They carried signs protesting the war in Iraq and the administration’s environmental and other policies. Many turned their backs and booed as the president passed by.
And on the fringes of the parade route, in city streets and parks around Washington, hundreds more gathered. Some carried coffin-like boxes draped in black cloth and American flags. Some protested in song.
WOMAN SINGING: Weapons of mass destruction ain’t never been found -
KWAME HOLMAN: The search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was officially called off last week. Back on the parade route, the presidential vehicle sped up as it passed a group of demonstrators.
Nearby, protesters reportedly had knocked over a barricade and witnesses said police used pepper spray on some demonstrators. At least seven people were arrested during the day, including five who had tried to interrupt the Inaugural Address. As the motorcade neared the White House, the crowd cheered as the president and first lady got out of the armored limousine and walked the final block and a half home.
SPOKESPERSON: The University of Texas…
KWAME HOLMAN: They joined their families and cabinet members in a heated reviewing stand to watch the parade.