Metro-East News

Illinoisans get emotional during Trump’s inauguration

The time went fast, and the energy was there.

Those were Laura Evans’ main takeaways from the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

After calling, campaigning and even following the new president as a candidate to Iowa to hear him speak, the retired librarian said she felt absolutely relieved and exhilarated to witness Trump take the oath Friday as the 45th president of the United States.

“My deepest feeling was really joy and wonder,” said Evans, 72, of Taylor Ridge. “Now we can go onto the next phase of making America safe again, and making America great again.”

Evans said the day felt like a long time coming. She said she thought the news media and political process had not been fair to Trump during the campaign. As protests ignited Washington during the inauguration, Evans had a singular message to activists.

“He is my president, and he is everybody’s president, and they better get used to it,” she said.

Sheri Diekman, of East Moline, holds a similar sentiment. She called protesters “anarchists,” and said she thinks liberals paid them to act out during Trump’s big day.

“I was feeling the same way when Obama was elected twice, and I never went out and tried to block his parade,” Diekman said, adding: “All they’re doing is making themselves look stupid, that’s my opinion. I just really hate it that people keep saying that he’s not their president. He is their president.”

As she watched U.S. Marines salute Trump for the first time during his presidency, she said she felt herself tearing up. It wasn’t the only time she cried during Trump’s inauguration.

It happened again when the new president said he was returning the country to all Americans during his swearing in ceremony. She said she also loved that she did not hear the word “I” at all during Trump’s speech. (He did use the word three times.)

“I’m not normally anybody that would cry or anything like that, but today I had tears of joy,” Diekman said. “It gives me goosebumps.”