Despite the chilly weather and hours of waiting, more than 1 million people left the comfort of their homes and traveled to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to witness President Barack Obama take the oath of office.
Among the cheerful crowd were nurses, but they also stood ready at first aid stations, prepared to help treat attendees.
Thankfully, injuries and illness were minimal.
And the attendees were able to enjoy the historic day without any major incidents.
Promise of a New Day
(Left) RNs from across the country were part of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
From weeks of planning to hours in the cold caring for patients on the National Mall to moments of joy listening to Obama speak, nurses were there.
(Left) Representatives from the American Red Cross, U.S. Public Health Service, National Guard, and National Park Service were on hand to help attendees as temperatures stayed below 30 degrees.
The representatives examined a young Obama fan for frostbite Jan. 20.
Prepared to Serve
(Right) First aid stations 58 in all according to published reports lined the National Mall and the parade route. Most of the 750 people seen at the stations were treated for minor ailments.
(Left) Lt. Cmdrs. Doris Wurah, RN, (left) and Philantha Bowen, RN, nurses with the U.S. Public Health Service, manned medical tent No. 4 on the National Mall.
Sharing the Moment
(Right) Carolyn Rimmer, RN, president of the Chicago chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, brought enthusiasm, if not a ticket, to the event.
Near the Capitol, Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Barget offered his earpiece to Rimmer so she could listen to the presidents inauguration speech.
Afterward, hand over her heart, Rimmer said she was overwhelmed by the experience.
(Left) Members of the Illinois Nurses Association came to the Capitol to show their support for the new president, who as an Illinois senator was a strong supporter of the association.
From left, Mildred Taylor, RN, Kathleen Divinagracia, RN, and Barbara Cooper, RN, wore their hearts on their chests with felt vests proclaiming Illinois Nurses (Heart) Obama.
Worth the Wait
(Right) Dawn over the Capitol found a flood of well-wishers assembled hours before the swearing in of the new president.
Nurse On Call
(Left) Nurses across the country offered their services for the inauguration, including Coleen DeFlorimonte-Lucas, RN, MSN.
A 22-year resident of the Washington, D.C., area and member of the Medical Reserve Corps, DeFlorimonte-Lucas says she wanted, above all, to keep everyone safe.
Im going to focus on the event as being peaceful, fun, exciting, and happy, she said from the Capitol days before the event.
Warm at Heart
(Right) Despite below-freezing temperatures, emotions ran high among attendees. Area hospitals had prepared for hypothermia and other cold-related complaints but reported few cases.
Washington Hospital Centers ED saw 55 patients with inauguration-related complaints, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, anxiety, chest pain, and exacerbation of chronic conditions, such as asthma.