Local voices weigh in on President Trump's inauguration

 President Donald Trump waves after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
By: 
RYAN PHILLIPS

Even if you weren't among the hundreds of thousands who braved the rain in Washington, D.C. on Friday, chances are you were watching on a television or computer screen as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Oktibbeha County proved no exception as the new commander-in-chief took office.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., spoke to the SDN immediately following the inauguration and called the swearing-in of President Trump a "profound moment."

"My father is a World War II veteran and is 92 years old, and he was here for his first inauguration, so it is really a special time for Americans of all generations," Wicker said.

Wicker said many of the issues the president touched on in his inaugural address were on the minds of the people Wicker was elected to represent, namely uncertainty in the health care sector and national defense.

Wicker also said the next big challenge will be to confirm a new U.S. Supreme Court justice - a process he is excited to be a part of with his newest role in the GOP leadership.

State Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus, didn't make the trip to Washington, D.C. and said he had no special engagements on the agenda other than watching the event.

Chism has been a supporter of President Trump from the beginning and was among 10 legislators that stood on the capitol steps in Jackson to voice support for Trump in the early goings.

"I just might be able to sleep better knowing that we have someone in the oval office that - if he draws a red line - he's going to do something about it," Chism said.

Chism said after the dust is cleared with the inauguration festivities, he is excited to see President Trump put his words into action, namely the construction of a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border.

"This is the most embarrassed I've ever been and you can't tell me the strongest nation on earth can't stop people from coming across the border," he said. "I know that we probably ought to take his cell phone away on Twitter, but I can bet you will have plenty of stories to write about over the next four years."

Anja Scheib, 22, is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University and attended the inauguration with friends.

"I would say it's a great opportunity to witness history regardless of how one feels about the election," Scheib told the SDN. "It certainly was an unexpected race, so I'm glad to be here watching all the action."

Protests occurred only a short distance from where President Trump took the oath of office, but Scheib said the demonstrators were, for the most part, separated from those with tickets to the event.

"I didn't see any formal protestors because security was so high that we were in fences and barricades with military personnel," Scheib said. "I was sort of funneled into the inauguration. I barely could hear them just a few times."

While Scheib intentionally tried to avoid any dangerous conflict, she did say there were a few mild arguments within the fenced-in area.

President Trump may have found his way to the White House with widespread conservative support in Mississippi, but State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, was not among those speaking out in favor of the 45th president of the United States.

Ellis said on Thursday that he would likely be too busy on Inauguration Day to tune in to the ceremonies, but didn't rule out the possibility.

"I'm not optimistic, and I have to see something to give me optimism," he said. "I am hopeful, but cautious."

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