TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Some East Texans made plans to attend Joe Biden’s Inauguration ceremony Wednesday, but concerns of violence in Washington D.C. put them to a halt. Many worried about their safety and chose to stay home.
A few members of the Democratic Club of Smith County were supposed to see Joe Bien take the oath of office, but because of the rioters who stormed the capitol almost two weeks ago, they decided to prioritize their safety over their excitement.
Washington D.C. is currently under lockdown, with thousands of national guard troops and fences surrounding the area, keeping intruders out. Despite all those safeguards, they still express concern, afraid of a repeat.
“We had the invitation to go and because of safety measures, because of everything in lieu of what happened over the past few weeks it’s being canceled and that’s really sad, that’s been sad for us.”Hector Garza, Officer, Democratic Club of Smith County
Despite the heartbreak over not being able to attend Wednesday’s ceremony in-person, they do still have plans to celebrate. But like everything in 2020, it will be virtual. The Democratic Club of Smith County is hosting an online watch-party to commemorate the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
“We can’t wait for the inaugural events whether they be virtual, whether they be one online with your own family, and enjoy it, let’s have fun,” said Garza.
However, not everyone planning to attend decided to stay home. Tom Perkins of Tyler and his daughter Ally landed in D.C., Monday evening. This is a trip they’ve been trying to do for years.
“This actually started just about 4 years ago, we wanted to come to the inauguration last time, but we just weren’t able to make it happen,” said Tom
Given the recent events at the capitol, Tom and his daughter said they’re on their guard.
“We’re aware of the potential risks, I would think we’re going into. But our country has been facing challenges for over 200 years, we’re gonna face this and overcome this challenge as well.”Tom Perkins, Lives in Tyler
When arriving in D.C., but Tom and Ally said it looked business as usual and expressed no concerns to their safety.
“It’s kind of a crazy time to be traveling and doing all of this but we’re just super thankful again for all the work people are doing to prepare for this event.”
While the two look forward to what’s ahead, Tom hopes, “…this can be a memorable event, but nothing too exciting.”