Lisa Lackovitch and her friends from central Virginia weren’t going to miss Donald Trump’s inauguration.
They had stuck by the New York billionaire when the Republican field had ballooned to 17 candidates during the GOP primaries. Their faith stayed strong even when members of their own party tried to discredit him and when the media mocked him. They watched with glee as he picked off his rivals one by one to secure his spot at the top of the Republican ticket.
“We went through the whole campaign with him,” Lackovitch said. “He’s an outsider and we love him!”
For Lackovitch and her friend Julie Patton of Powhatan, Va. — and thousands of spectators who came to Washington from across the country — Friday was the culmination of a hard-fought battle against the political establishment.
And it was time to celebrate.
“The people who love Trump are here in masses, and we’re just going to show our support,” Patton said. “We are behind him 100 percent in everything he has said he will do. If anybody can do it, it would be Trump.”
Patton admits she was warned not to come to the nation’s capital because of anti-Trump protests. But even as those protests caused chaos in parts of the District on Friday, supporters like Patton showed their pride and made clear the disruptions weren’t going to stop them.
The protests across D.C. grew in intensity as the day went on. Windows were broken, cars damaged and businesses vandalized. Some people threw rocks at police. By mid-afternoon, several officers sustained injuries. Ninety-five people were arrested.
During the inaugural parade, scores of protesters with signs lined up as the first family drove by.
“It’s unfortunate we have that much dissension that’s being displayed today,” George McCaul of Cedar Bluff, Va., told FoxNews.com. He pinned the problems and escalating tension on former President Obama.
“The gentleman — from when he entered office – has become one of the most divisive presidents that’s ever served in the White House,” McCaul said.
McCaul, however, believes Trump can eventually win over naysayers.
“There’s a lot of hope and enthusiasm and optimism and that’s what’s been evident since the election,” he said.
Security concerns weren’t going to keep South African immigrant Antonio Szilagyi away.
Szilagyi, who now lives in Wilmington, N.C. and voted for Trump, believes it was important to show his support and says he is sure Trump will keep the promises he made on the campaign trail.
“I believe in his policies — especially securing the border,” Szilagyi said. “It’s very important.”
He added: “Getting rid of political correctness, getting rid of Common Core, repealing and replacing ObamaCare – most definitely he’ll be able to do it.”
Bill Brock of Tennessee is also a fan.
Brock has been to 50 Trump rallies and has followed the new president around the country when he was on the campaign trail. He came to Washington to celebrate his candidate’s win — and to make a few bucks.
Brock sells Trump memorabilia – everything from “I was there” inauguration lanyards to buttons and hats. His biggest seller is a big blue Trump flag.
“We finally have someone in our White House that actually knows business and who will shake the tree,” Brock told FoxNews.com. “Left or right. It should be what’s best for the country not just if you’re a Republican or Democrat. It’s about getting it right. Period. Business comes first. Two plus two equals four. If it doesn’t, then we need to get those people out [of government].”
A business lesson is exactly what Andre Rissling is hoping his 14-year-old son Jack will take away from the day.
“We support Trump and we support capitalism because capitalism made this country great!” Andre Rissling told FoxNews.com.
One block down the street, a group of four students from the University of North Carolina, decked out in their school colors and red Trump hats, chanted, “Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!”
Tampa, Fla., resident Jay Smithson, said he drove 14 hours to attend the inauguration.
“I probably sound stupid but I love the guy. Our whole family loves him and we are here to celebrate the win. To the haters, get over yourselves. Move on.”