AUSTRALIAN Regional Media journalist Laura Telford is in Washington DC for President Trump's inauguration.
WITH temperatures at zero, it was a surreal sensation watching one of the most controversial men take the most famous oath. But it is official - Donald J Trump has been officially sworn in as America's next, and 45th President.
It is something unlike anything I could ever imagine. Having studied American politics for the last five years - and I vividly remember the day I watched Obama get sworn in the first time - standing here, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall is something else entirely.
After waking up at 5 am to make the trek into position, the climax came at noon, as, surrounded by family, President Trump took the oath of office.
Crowds with a range of colour coded tickets swarmed through security - as early at 6.30am and as late as up to moments before Trump arrived - to take up a place in front of the Capitol for the history making event.
For the most part the rain stayed away early on, but the dry weather lead to lots of chanting by devoted Trump supporters particularly in the middle section of the crowds as time drew nearer to midday.
Battle cries of "USA, USA, USA" as well as "TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP" were commonplace as more and more followers joined those gathered. It did not matter who was singing, nor who was at the podium speaking, the cries of loyalists were loud for all to hear.
Security was extremely tight was tensions ran hot, and as the morning wore on more and more police, border patrol, marine, national guards and undercover agents converged, anticipating trouble.
It was an unnerving mix of people in the crowd, from distraught Hillary fans, coming regardless of the election result to jubilant Trump devotees eager to see the man who pledged to "make America great again".
As a student of politics at both an Australian and international level, it was disturbing to see that on a day where the institution of government and presidency should be looked to as a source of leadership, Trump supporters boo'ed repeatedly at Former President William Clinton and his wife Hillary, and outgoing President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
Even in the relatively secure section I was standing, having gone through a fairly tougher screening, I had a number of people sending messages to make sure the people I was with were okay - which thankfully my party was.
As soon as the oath was delivered, and Trump was finished addressing the smaller than expected crowd, people dispersed with a speed I had not anticipated.
An Australian who had a front row seat to the show, Joshua Sunnman, 21 said the experience was challenging.
"As an Australian being in Washington and listening to the vitriol and chants coming from the crowds, it was confronting to realise how toxic the atmosphere was become," he said.
It is now after 3pm, and although Trump has only been President for three hours having just got home I am hearing protesters in the streets, choppers circling the skies and police sirens raring up and down the streets.
Needless to say I won't be exploring the streets of Washington DC tonight.