COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – People traveled from all over to attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, including a group of students from Colorado Springs.
Eleven students from Doherty High School, along with their AP Government teacher, made the trip to Washington D.C. to witness an important part of the political process.
Friday was an early morning for the group who had to be up at 3 a.m. just to stand for hours in the cold and the rain.
“As painful as it was on our feet, it was well worth it,” said teacher Robert Duensing,
“It was a lot of fun to witness something that historical and especially this election since it was so controversial, it was just a really interesting thing to be there for,” said senior Allison Kalbach.
Not entirely sure what to expect, some of the students were surprised by some of the reactions in the crowd.
“The responses to some of the Democrats coming out were just so negative, and yelling mean things, and I was very surprised by how angry people were,” said senior Eva Licht.
“The kids got to see first hand how riled up politics can get people to be and when you’re in a mass setting how easy it is to be louder and angrier,” said Duensing.
Duensing said he wanted the students to experience the good and bad of politics, but most importantly the peaceful transfer of power.
“The more exposure the better. We can’t live in a vacuum, we can’t live under a teacup and just try to be protected,” said Duensing. “That’s how we learn how to deal with people.”
The students said they are returning home with a better appreciation for the political system and are hopeful that the process will not disappoint.
“I think that Trump wants to change a lot and he has good intentions, not everything he says or does I agree with, but I think that a lot is going to get done in the next four years and I am just optimistic that we’re going to be going in the right direction,” said senior Tristan Wheeler.
“He may not have been the best candidate but I don’t want him to fail either because if he fails we fail and that’s not something I want for this country,” said Kalbach.
Duensing said the group did encounter a few protesters but all of their interactions with them were positive and they did not witness any destruction.
In addition to attending the inauguration the students also met with lawmakers, toured museums and visited historical locations over the course of their 7-day trip.