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Thousands flock to Notre Dame for a chance to view the solar eclipse

Partial eclipse Peak eclipse
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- It's the day many have been waiting for: the day of the Great American Eclipse.

All of North America, heading outdoors Monday afternoon, to see the spectacular sight.

One of the most popular spots to view the solar eclipse in Michiana? The University of Notre Dame. 

It is what people have been waiting for, for 38 years.

"It's a very special day today. We didn't want to miss it," explains Sandra Dunlap, who traveled from Argos. 

Thousands flooded the lawn outside the Jordan Hall of Science.

"Maybe two to three thousand? Maybe four thousand?" estimated Notre Dame junior, Natalie Howe.

Everyone, hoping to catch a glimpse of the moon blocking the sun. 

"[It's] a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's really great that school is starting this week, because a lot of students and their families, and the community, get to join in and see this wonderful astronomical event," says Howe.

"It is a once in a lifetime experience, but maybe, hopefully, I'll get to see it again," adds Darla Gase, who traveled from Lakeville.

People gathered together, heads looking towards the sky, enjoying the eclipse amongst friends and family. 

"I'm really excited. I'm here with my mom and I'm happy we get to see this together," says Howe. 

"To be here with family and loved ones," describes Gase. "It's just a wonderful thing."

A wonderful thing, that so many people wanted to take a part of.

Too many. 

Over five thousand of the special solar eclipse glasses were ordered for the campus viewing party, and still some were unable to get their hands on a pair. 

The line to get the glasses, wrapping around the science building, was hours long.

"We came to get glasses and found people had been waiting an hour and a half," says Aaron Rowe, a junior, who was waiting in line with his mother. "It's kind of crazy over here."

In the spirit of such a unifying event, people shared their coveted glasses with family and friends. 

At first, during the peak of the eclipse, the clouds did not cooperate.

The cloud cover blocked the sun and the moon from view.

But then, a miracle. 

"It was amazing. I think God-willing. I think He wanted us to experience such a wonderful thing," says Gase. 

When the clouds cleared, giving everyone a glimpse of the eclipse, the crowd erupted into an applause.

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