Millions of people from all across the world descended on Washington, DC, earlier this month to witness not only the inauguration of President Donald Trump but also to protest his new administration. Included among them were four McConnell Scholars.
Brothers Eric and Christian Bush joined Evan Wright for the 608-mile trek to the nation’s capital Jan. 20 to witness the peaceful transition of power first hand, while fellow McConnell Scholar Celia Cusick was one of the millions of women to protest at the Women’s March the next day. Despite their opposing political views, all agreed that witnessing – and taking part in such a historical event – was an experience they’ll never forget.
“It was a pretty surreal moment, seeing so many important political leaders – past presidents and congressional leaders – coming onto that stage,” Eric Bush said. “Watching these people, who have said some pretty nasty things about each other during the campaign, come together to watch the peaceful transition of power – which is a uniquely American experience – was very impactful.”
For Cusick, taking part in the Women’s March was an equally-powerful experience.
“It was empowering for me to be there because, it was about standing up for not only who I am as a person but for those who can’t stand up for themselves,” Cusick said. “This was me putting my words into action and telling the public and the president that his words and actions reflect all of us and they’re not OK.”
For Wright, the inauguration was a family affair, attending both the inauguration and the Freedom Ball later that night with his father.
“We decided we wanted to go because we wanted to be a part of this historic moment,” Wright said. “You see it on TV, but it’s not really real until you see it in person. It really was one of the best days of my life.”
The McConnell Scholars were interviewed last week on UofL Today with Mark Hebert about their experiences in Washington, DC. Listen to their stories online.