WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington, D.C., held its breath Saturday as the city – and the rest of the nation – waited for the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election to be announced.
Around 11:30 a.m. at the Voters Decided Rally in McPherson Square, Congresswoman Eleanor Norton was giving a speech of encouragement to attendees and voters when the week-long struggle for the White House finally ended.
The crowd’s attention shifted from Norton as a CNN live-broadcast began to play on the screen behind Norton. People nudged those standing next to them and began to point. Time paused as people read the banner at the bottom of the screen which said, “Joseph Biden Jr. elected 46th president.”
There was a split second before the crowd was hit with the full realization of what they had witnessed. Voices rippled through the crowd saying, “We won.”
That moment, when the finish line was finally crossed, would be the last bit of calm many attendees and the nation’s capital would have in the coming hours.
Several speakers came to the stage but within the hour the rally was ready to march to Black Lives Matter Plaza. An event organizer walked up to the stage and addressed the rally, instructing them to organize and pick up signs at the starting point, “Let’s do what we do best, let’s march. Let’s show our power,” he said.
With that, the crowd surrounding the stage in McPherson Square began to disperse, as reporters struggled to get to the front of the river of people beginning to march. It was a sunny day in Washington on Saturday, but the sun seemed to shine even brighter as joyous people marched through the streets.
The crowd walked into a new America — with hopes of improved political and social atmospheres.
A group of activists led the march while holding a sign that read “Immigrants are #heretoday,” one of the many activist groups that joined the march. Police were on the street corners helping to direct marchers and traffic as the crowd rounded corners before reaching Black Lives Matter Plaza, where others had already gathered.
The celebrations ranged from people climbing onto concrete road dividers trying to capture videos, the popping of champagne bottles and homemade signs bobbing above the crowd, held by proud supporters. American flags, Pride flags, Biden flags, BLM flags were worn or waved all down the plaza. Drivers honked car horns and cheered out their windows as the majority of the city beamed with joy. District residents held signs and flags out the windows of their homes cheering on the crowd from above.
People of all ages — teenagers, young adults, college students, children on their parents shoulders, older people and even dozens of dogs — swarmed the streets in celebration.
Amid the celebrations in the city, were also those who were disappointed with the election results. Supporters of President Donald Trump were also in the city, waving flags and holding signs. Some were quiet, while others chanted in support of their favored candidate.
For many, the last four years were filled with anxiety and trepidation. The nation held its breath between the closing of the polls and when officials finally projected a winner. As Americans sat in the grass of the National Mall, it sounded as if the city let out a sigh of relief.