Eyewitness to American Pomp, Pageantry at Presidential Inauguration


By Dr. Randeep Suneja, MD

HOUSTON: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America”. With these words, Donald J. Trump took the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States of America.

As a witness to this historic moment, I feel honored and privileged to have attended the inaugural festivities. I am greatly indebted to my friend, Umesh Jain, who with, a single phone call, made this happen with only two weeks left to the inauguration.

Arriving on January 19 afternoon, at Reagan National Airport, we quickly checked into the Hilton Hotel in Old Town Alexandria, and we prepared to attend a special reception by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-8th Dist.), Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Brady leads a committee with jurisdiction over Taxes, Healthcare, and Social Security, Medicare, International trade and welfare. We were able to talk informally with him and other dignitaries.


We rushed back to the hotel to get ready to attend the hottest ticket in town: the Black Tie and Boots Gala held at the Gaylord Convention Center. This special event was organized by the Texas State Society of Washington D.C. and is one of the prestigious inaugural Galas in the Capital. The Texas-size 10th Quadrennial Gala had 11,000 invited guests with handsome men dressed in Cowboy hats, tuxedos and boots and beautiful ladies dressed in formal gowns.

Congressman Roger Williams, President of the Society congratulated incoming President Trump on this momentous occasion and invited all the guests to tip their hats and kick up their boots by welcoming the iconic American band, the Beach Boys who played awesome music for almost two hours.

We slowly managed to get to the front of the stage and shook hands with lead singer Mike Love when he reached out sporadically to the dancing and cheering crowd. We also socialized with the down to earth power couple of Texas, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and his wife Jan who were overjoyed to visit with other Texan Friends.

Soon after, Donald Trump Jr. joined the stage to congratulate Texas for helping his father in the historic win. He pointed out that Texas raised more money than California and New York combined. The festivities ended past midnight, and we retired to our hotel room to get up at 5am and get ready for the Presidential Inauguration.

With massive security and numerous road closures the only way to get to the event was by subway. We arrived close to the Capital around 7:45am but thousands of people had already lined up the streets since 6am, creating extremely long lines at the entrance gates.

The Inauguration started on a spiritual note with Rev. Timothy Michael Dolan, Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of New York reading King Solomon’s prayer from the Book of Wisdom. At exactly noon, in the presence of former Presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of the office to Donald J. Trump. In his inaugural 16 minute address comprising of 1433 words Trump proclaimed to “America First” with almost a million supporters chanting “Trump. Trump”, “USA. USA”.

At the conclusion, Jackie Evancho, a 16 year-old, sang the National Anthem in operatic style, touching the hearts of everyone there. We then swiftly joined the sea of people exiting the event and flew back to Houston the same evening, both feeling awed to be part of American History. It truly was an experience of a lifetime!