Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a great day for america
today i woke up at 3:30am for a day trip down to dc to witness the inauguration of our 44th president. the bus left at 5:00am from meetup, which sponsored the trip for employees and organizers. we arrived swiftly at 8:45am, just a stone's throw away from the capitol, and we could see the massive crowds slowly descending on the mall. the next hour was spent looking for parking, but the moment we jumped off the bus, we were tasked to hand out nametag stickers that said: "hello my fellow american, my name is..." with a fill-in-the-blank space at the bottom for people to fill out where they were from.

to tell you the truth, i had no idea what reactions i'd get from handing out these nametags. when we reached a corner where a street team had already handed out a bunch of these nametags, i could see handfuls of nametags just littered on the sidewalk. this was a bit disheartening.

our group walked toward the mall, and i was hoping to simply hand them out to nearby people when we reached our final standing spots. but as we were going up a street where hundreds of other americans were pouring toward the mall, we randomly ran into scott, our ceo at meetup! he told us, just turn around, face upstream and just start handing them out. people will take them (and eager they were too)! we handed them out to people of all ages and everyone was excited to put something on themselves just to celebrate the occasion. some of my favorite moments were:
i'd have to say the whole nametag experiment went well. maybe it helped meetup or maybe it didn't, but it definitely showed how excited people were just to wear something with their name and where they're from. besides all this, despite the cold, despite being squished amongst what seemed like millions of other americans, besides barely being able to see obama take the oath, it was a great day for america. being in such a historic place, with so many people filled with hope and joy, was plenty for me to have a positive outlook on our future.