A familiar and favorite teacher of Harrison attended Donald Trump’s inauguration last week.
Ashley Greeley, who teaches AP United States History and AP Government, was invited by Representative Todd Rokita to watch the historic event.
“I have enough connections to his office that I just emailed one of his staffers and had them put my name on the list and they selected me,” said Greeley. “I’m not sure of the exact process of how he chose who got the tickets, but you had to go through a member of Congress to get a ticket.”
While some might jump at the chance to witness an inauguration, especially if they are supporters of Trump, Greeley had some reservations.
“I love the political process but I’m not a huge supporter of Trump or the executive office in general,” Greeley said. “I like Congress and the Supreme Court more, but I wanted to go and witness an inauguration firsthand. It’s kind of a bucket-list item… and it was great people-watching.”
She also mentioned that she was wary about safety concerns, due to it being a major political event in Washington, D.C., and adding that nearly anywhere you wanted to go, you had to go through security.
Greeley’s two days in Washington were certainly exciting.
“I flew in and spent the day Thursday just walking around D.C. and talking to people. I talked to everyone from bikers for Trump, to women that were in D.C. for the Women’s March on Saturday, and just normal everyday people who were there like me, who were there to witness a historical event,” said Greeley.
The Trump Administration had a large welcome celebration that night, with concerts and fireworks, but Greeley said she did not stay for too long and instead met up with a former student.
On Friday, she was at the Capitol by 6 a.m., despite it not starting until 11:30 a.m., and left shortly after Trump was sworn in.
Afterwards she went to Arlington National Cemetery.
“I enjoyed Arlington with no on there, because everyone was at the inauguration, so it was very quiet and peaceful,” Greeley said. “It was kind of therapeutic after all the political events of the day to go to Arlington and enjoy peace and quiet amongst true heroes.”
Greeley left the capital Friday evening, so she did not participate in the march the following day.
The day after the inauguration, at least half a million people participated in the Women’s March in D.C..
That number might make some think that the nation’s capital had unrest the day of Trump’s swearing in, but Greeley says that was not the case.
“It was more like little pop-up protests on Thursday and Friday,” Greeley said. “Everything I saw was very respectful. There was one group of women had a sign that said ‘Free Hugs,’ and they were all wearing pink with the pink hats and it was just all about being very, very peaceful.”
There was some violence though, with protesters setting vehicles on fire and smashing the windows of a Bank of America.
“When the violence began, people were very upset, because they were trying to be good, follow the rules, and be respectful,” Greeley said. “And then you have these people who cause bad media, and that harms everybody that is there to make a statement.”
So will she go again?
“I think once is enough. It’s a lot of people with a lot of festivities, and honestly I prefer D.C. when it’s a bit quieter,” said Greeley.