Approximately 1,300 members of the 19,000 member Pennsylvania National Guard will be on their way to Washington D.C. later this week for President Obama's second Inauguration. Nearly 6,000 National Guard soldiers from all over the country will be assisting with crowd control during the ceremony next week.
The participation of the military is one of the long-standing traditions of the Presidential Inauguration. PA National Guard Public Affairs Specialist Staff Sargent Matt Jones said while the National Guard has assisted from time to time, soldiers have been present at each inauguration since our first president.
“It’s something that’s been going more than 220 years, since George Washington’s inauguration as far as military supporting it. As far as National Guard supporting it, it’s been on and off the entire time,” Staff Sgt. Jones said.
He said those assigned to this mission will be departing for D.C. within the next few days and will return by the middle of next week.
“The majority of the Pennsylvania Guardsman helping out with the Inauguration are reporting to Fort Indian Town Gap today, they’ll be leaving in a couple of days for D.C. and then they’ll probably be heading back next Tuesday or Wednesday, so all told, it’s about a week,” Staff Sgt. Jones said.
The 57th Presidential Inauguration is set for Monday, January 21. The swearing-in ceremony will begin around 11:30 a.m. NPR coverage of the event will be aired on 90.5 FM WESA.