Group of Liberty University students witness President Trump's inauguration

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WDBJ7) A crowd of 250,000 had tickets to the Trump inauguration. Thousands more staked out spots on the national mall.

And standing near the front were more than a dozen students from Liberty University.

When Donald Trump took the oath of office shortly after noon, 16 students from Liberty University had a prime view of the action.

After deciding to make the trip a few months ago, they secured tickets from Congressman Bob Goodlatte and another representative in Texas.

“It was very real and very exciting I wasn't sure how close we were going to get due to the crowds because we were standing, but we got really close,” said Liberty University student Jordan Hayley. “And we could see it on the screens and a little on the capitol. And it was just great to see him and his family and the former presidents.

It was also provided a lesson in free speech. The students had to pass through a protest to reach the viewing area.

“My biggest impression is probably just how passionate Americans are. I mean we have a deeply rooted history,” Liberty University student Kayla Bailey.

Liberty University student Kathryn Legg said: “And I also appreciated what Trump said in his speech, how he kept the focus on the people and uniting the country.”

And they had another stop after the swearing in and inaugural parade.

On Friday night the three students we interviewed were headed to the Faith, Freedom and Future Inaugural ball before heading back to school.