Inside the Beltway: Somber security replaces inaugural glitz

www.washingtontimes.com
4 min read
fairly difficult
In another era, preparations for a presidential inauguration included breathless news coverage of major galas and parties around the nation's capital. Not this time around. The riot at the U.S. Capitol has changed the culture of the events in major ways.
In another era, preparations for a presidential inauguration included breathless news coverage of major galas and parties around the nation's capital.

There were fancy maps, commemorative programs, a rollicking parade, grandstands draped in red-white-and-blue bunting — plus endless fawning coverage of glittering celebrations and celebrity guests. Major hotels and such historic sites as the National Building Museum were lauded for their ambience and style; there was much talk about formal gowns, limousines, speeches, fireworks, cocktails, political gossip, dinner menus, musical acts and dancing.

Not this time around. The riot at the U.S. Capitol has changed the culture of the events in major ways.

An advisory released Wednesday by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District revealed the complexity of street closures during President-elect Joseph R. Biden's inauguration — along with plans to restrict access to parking lots, loading docks and other locations. The rules go into effect Friday.

The local Metropolitan Police Department also has succinct suggestions for citizens and the sparse populations of visitors who still linger in the city:

"Report suspicious activities. Law enforcement agencies are requesting businesses and residents report any suspicious activities to the MPD. Suspicious activities could include, but are not limited to: graffiti, pamphlets and destruction of items of a political nature. In addition, MPD is requesting property owners preserve video and camera footage to assist in current and future investigations," the advisory said.

The city's police force — including branches of federal law enforcement and additional personnel from other cities — will be joined by some 20,000 National Guard troops on Inauguration Day.

A RECOMMENDATION FOR JAN. 20

"Suppose they gave an inauguration and nobody came?" asks Roger Simon, a columnist for The Epoch Times who advises not to protest the inauguration in any way or in any place — and to skip…
Jennifer Harper
Read full article