Blanket of security 'not unreasonable' to Cape residents at inauguration

Friday, January 21, 2005

Kathy Swan didn't mind all the metal detectors at Thursday's inauguration of President George W. Bush.

Neither did newly elected state Rep. Nathan Cooper, although he acknowledged that it took some time to make it through all the security checks.

The tight security in a time of global terrorism didn't dampen their spirits or their optimism about the Bush administration.

"Security is tight, but it is not unreasonable," Swan said by phone as she watched the inaugural parade.

Both Cape Girardeau residents were in the huge crowd that attended Bush's second inauguration on Thursday. Swan's husband, Reg, also made the trip to Washington, D.C.

"He did a very good job," Kathy Swan said of the president's speech. "He focused a lot on freedom and the responsibility of freedom."

Most in the crowd cheered the president as Bush swore the presidential oath on the steps of the Capitol, she said.

A handful of pro-choice protesters were seated not far from the Swans. She said the protesters stood on chairs twice during the ceremony to demonstrate against Bush. The second time, security personnel removed them, she said.

After the inaugural address, the Swans spent much of the afternoon watching the inaugural parade from bleacher seats that cost $125 each.

"I think they put up these bleachers overnight," she said.

A number of high school and university bands from around the nation participated in the parade, along with military units.

"The military presence in the parade was very inspiring," Swan said.

She was surprised that Bush walked part of the parade route despite the high level of security.

Cooper, who also attended Bush's first inauguration four years ago, said this time was more of a party.

"Four years ago, we had just finished a contentious election and recount as well as the changing of administration," he said. "For many people, it was relief at the end of a very arduous process. This was more of a celebration."

He joined with other Missourians at the Independence Ball, one of several official parties around the city.

Cooper said he saw few protesters in the inauguration day crowds.

"I think they stayed home," he said. "This is not their day."

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