Inaugural crowd

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They came from across the city, across the pond, and across the aisle politically. They came from the halls of power on Beacon Hill and the halls of political infamy. Nearly 8,000 people turned out at Boston College’s Conte Forum Monday morning to watch their unassuming friend and neighbor, Martin J. Walsh, become Boston’s new mayor.

“He’s so real,” marveled Kelly Butts, a fellow Dorchester resident who was thrilled to see “such a normal, average person up there.” She brought her husband and 12-year-old son, Robert, to witness the festivities that she had worked so hard for during the campaign.

“We’ve been on this road for so long,” said Butts. “It was such a long journey.”

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