Early this morning, January 20, my wife and I left for the Alexandria waterfront to catch a boat ride to Washington for the inauguration. The bridges from Virginia, where I live, to D.C. were closed to personal vehicles and the Metro was packed. So the boat seemed a good idea.
We had to go through security and the ability of the water taxi company
Then Senator Joe Biden with ACI-NA President Greg Principato a few years back when Greg worked on the Biden staff.
to provide the service had to be approved by the Coast Guard. In fact our boat was the only one out there except for a single Coast Guard craft.
After we cut through the ice and arrived, we walked toward the Capitol, using the 3rd Street Tunnel as a pedestrian walkway to get to our destination. Along the way, on New Jersey Avenue, we even passed right by Mariah Carey.
We had been invited to a party at 101 Constitution Avenue, which is the building closest
to the Capitol. We spent a little time up on the roof along with a couple of teams of reporters (one of which was interviewing Al Sharpton). While up there we ran into an old colleague of mine from Senator Biden‘s staff in the 1980′s. We enjoyed reminiscing about our time with the new Vice President. The view up there was just beautiful.
The party, hosted by Van Scoyoc Associates, was large and enthusiastic. I also saw Jeff Fegan, who runs DFW airport, and Bradley Rubinstein, who works for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Obama's Inauguration viwed from 101 Constitution Ave.
I thought President Obama’s speech was easily the best of the four inaugural speeches I have heard in person, and among the best ever delivered. He talked about universal truths and high ideals while also talking frankly about the challenges we face (I was happy he mentioned energy about which I’ve written much in this space) and the fact that we all have a stake and a role in the outcome. It was awfully good.
Afterwards we went to the office of the Air Transport Association to watch the parade. ATA’s offices are right on the parade route and we had a great view. It was great of ATA to invite us.
A number of key aviation figures were
President Obama's limo passing by the ATA's offices during the parade.
there including, of course, Jim May and his staff. I saw Pat Forrey, who runs the National Air Traffic Control Association, talking to a candidate for the FAA’ top post. I also saw Mark Dunkerley and his lovely wife, he is the CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, who I’ve known for a long time. Former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, now CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, was there and we shared stories of trying to get around Washington with 2 million of our closest friends.
The ATA party was a great event and evidence that, while we do not always agree, there is a great deal of good will in this industry.
We have much to do in 2009 to help ensure a strong future for the aviation industry.
The new president has called all Americans to try to work through our differences and find a way forward to a brighter future. He was talking to those of us in the aviation business too.