Obama's Inauguration (described by, I think, the BBC as something approaching a coronation) had over two million people attending, right?
I'm trying to imagine what The Moment would have looked like if everyone had preferred to watch from the comfort of their homes, all toasty and with a mug of coffee in their hands. Empty streets, big screens, a collection of pols on the stage, all the pomp without the circumstance, a speech made to the cold air.
It couldn't have been the weather that brought them out. It's unlikely that they were paid in alcohol, clothes, or herded in vans and open trucks like cattle. Far as I could make out, there weren't even enough loos and some of them were there for a full eight hours.
And yet they were all there. That's what was awe-inspiring.