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9 comments

  1. I went to the inauguration. I had a silver ticket and could see small specks of people and also a jumbotron that brought them up close. The energy in the crowd was amazing and there was such a sense of spirit and unity and hope in the air. There was not rioting or fighting, there was laughter and love. The day was cold, yet we kept warm by sharing our hopes. The experience was in all, magical.

    I missed the parade as you really cannot do both. However that evening I went to the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball. It was fun and a great place to network. Somewhere around 10 something, Biden came in and danced with his wife. Around 11:30 President Obama came in and danced with his wife, Michelle. He commented on her loveliness and how she had done all he had…but in heels.

    It was like being Cinderella to attend all I did and now the thought that I was a part of history will always stay with me.

  2. I watched the inauguration on television–twice; once with my brother, and later in the evening with my husband.

    I was incredibly moved by President Obama’s speech, particularly by his inclusionary statements regarding believers and non-believers, especially since 90% of the country identifies with one faith or another. I’m always heartened by a person who will stand up for those whose voice may not always be represented. It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing when you’re not with the majority.

    His message was direct and inspirational. It certainly instilled in me a great sense of hope. It was also beautful to see the faces in the immense crowd, stretching as far as the eye and the camera could reach, representing the beautfiul heterogeneous diversity that makes this country what it is.

  3. I went (from NH) with my 15 year old daughter and it was a most amazing, uplifting, inspiring and energizing experience. We had won 2 tickets in Senator Shaheen’s ticket lottery and were in the silver section – closer than about a million people but still part of the standing masses.

    The “We Are One” concert was fantastic. The energy at the concert and the inauguration was one of joy, anticipation and readiness to move together into the future.

    I was so struck by the sense of being “family” although we were strangers – especially during the long waiting the morning of the inauguration. It was soooooo cold. People were sharing hand warmers, warm clothing, food and stories. We came from all over and had such varied stories. I was so moved by the magnitude of what this president means to people of color – especially African Americans. I felt such relief that the 8 years of Bush were finally over, but for so many Americans, President Obama’s election is a major turning point after centuries of waiting. In the crowd it really felt true – We ARE One. We are family. It was such a gift.

  4. I was a part of a 3 day bus

    1/18/09
    The Robinsons & about 45 other Pittsburghers for Obama loaded a coach bus on Sunday morning and headed for Frederick, MD we ate lunch en route & checked into the Days Inn. Some members of the group used canes, the youngest was 16 & the oldest probably close to 80, many worked on the Obama campaign in some official capacity (like my mather-in-law) ALL were excited anticipating being apart of history. The talk on the bus was about what snacks we brought, what clothes we brought to stay warm, who wanted to come but couldn’t make the trip and what this trip meant to us personally. We ate dinner in Columbia, MD at Tobys dinner theater, “Mid Life Crisis the Musical”.

    1/19/09
    The Robinson & group left for the Smithsonian Museums about 9 am. We walked to the Lincoln Memorial taking photos all along the way of the people, the preparations–a group of reservist strolled along the Viet Nam memorial in the army fatigues. We ate hot dogs on the street and took a pedal cab back to the African Museum of Art & “bumped” into our cousins, Angie, Lenny & their children from NJ! We visited & laughed together about the in-prbability of meeting them amongst the thousands upon thousands of people already at the mall–we continued our time with them at the Air & Space museum before heading back to our group at the National Museum of Art. Some people got lost, one fell & broke a tooth & had to be taken to the hospital, our bus was re-directed several times as streets were closed & blocked off & could not meet at the place agreed upon. We waited for hours in the cold before all getting safely back on the bus. Late dinner & back to our hotel. The Robinsons watched CNN for a bit before turning in about midnight. Wake-up call set for 4am!trip.

    1/20/09
    Up at 4 am dressing in layers of clothes including long johns! A cup of coffee and then on the bus by 4:30 am As we got closer to DC there were buses, people, & venders everywhere! By 7am we were on the National mall just in front of the old Smithsonian Museum abot 1/2 between the White House and the Washington Monument. Greeters in red hats welcomed us to DC with big smiles & directed us to the mall area. We positioned ouselves in front of one of those gigantic screens and settled in to wait for the next 4 hours for the inuguration of our 44th president. The crowd was enormous, people surrounded me like a wall, a sea of winter caps & flags! It was cold, my toes & back ached. People made jokes & sang songs & chanted Obama affirmations. The group was orderly and positive. My husband stood behind me & our daughter by my side–we smiled at each other & kept repeating how we couldn’t believe we were there. Families passed around gronola bars & hand warmers to each other. My mother-in-law video taped, my daughter tried to keep her ears covered & we tried to call my father-in-law who waited on the bus for us but we (and many others) could not get cell phone reception. The crowd exploded when President Obama took his oath. Leaving the mall took hours–streets were blocked, confusion about where to exit, most of the secrity officers & police were helpful, some were not. The crowd remained calm as we tried to get to our buses & metro stations. “What a moment we’re in…” quoting President Obama.

    I feel so fortunate, so blessed, so proud to be associated with this event, this time, and yes, this moment!

  5. I am a grad school student at the University of Tennessee, and interning at the Alzheimer’s Association. Our Director went to the inauguration, she had the same experiences that you described. I am really happy that you were able to share in history like this, and thank you for your heartfelt post.

    Luanne

  6. Elisabeth Bridgewater

    I was in attendance at the parade. We were able to hear President Obama take the Oath over loud speakers. All over Pennsivania and 12th there was silence as he took the Oath and applause and joy all together.

    As he gave his inaugural address I was touched at how he spoke with such power and conviction. I felt hope for the first time in a long time. I feel like he his the first president in my young time that speak from a community origanizers voice; I was empowered to be the best social worker I can!!

    It was an amazing time to be A) a Democrate B) in DC and C) a social worker.

  7. Jennifer Greenfield

    I was there too! My partner and I had blue tickets, so we were fairly close, but still had trouble seeing because of trees. Thanks to the Jumbotrons, though, we felt like we were right on the stage with the Obamas. It was amazing to be part of the crowd, enduring crowds, long hours of standing, and COLD, and yet feeling so happy to be there. There wasn’t a dry eye in sight when President Obama took the oath of office… and throughout it all, I was truly proud of our country. What an amazing feeling to be one of millions who felt the need to be present for this moment in history!!

    Now we just need to keep up the advocacy to make sure that the issues we care about remain a priority: health care, economic justice, human rights, etc. I encourage everyone to visit http://www.whitehouse.gov to submit feedback on legislation and proposals for new initiatives. We should all make the most of this opportunity to be active participants in government!!

  8. I am the Director at a Senior Center in Chicago, and the participants range from 60 – 96 years of age. I was deeply moved by the impressions the election and inaugural of President Obama left on our seniors. We are located on the southside of Chicago, and our center is 98 percent African American in representation. There were tears of joy and relief that this moment came in their lifetime. We set up our 73 inch television, had good food and had an event called Gospel Filled Tuesday — all in salute to our new president.

    A reporter from the Wall Street Journal came in and interviewed our seniors. It was a blessing to spend that time together celebrating an occassion that many thought would not come in their lifetime. To see our joyous seniors, please visit our website at 79thstreetseniors.com

  9. It’s time to take President Obama’s campaign advice and organize. Certain sectors of our economy are in a depression and there’s a good possibility we could be facing a repeat of 1929. Let’s not let the ultra rich benefit again (by buying cheap stock) as they did in 1929. As social workers we need to be the agents of change.

    The only thing that will make politicians change policies is when enough citizens take action. Geitner and Summers are more of the same. The wolfs are in charge of the hen house! Obama’s message to us on the campaign trail was that he could only do so much, it needs to also come from the bottom up.
    It takes NO money to organize a demonstration on Wall Street. Just courage. If Blacks, Jews, anti war activists and women waited for the government to change laws and policies -we’d still be fighting the VietCong, Jews would not be able to live in Forest Hills Gardens (NY) or attend Princeton U., Blacks would be still sitting at the back of the bus, and women would not be able to vote.
    If you’re in the tristate region and interested in organizing a demonstration on Wall Street, let’s stop complaining and start organizing. We can contact CODE PINK, United For Peace and Justice, etc. if they want to join us.
    As a social worker we were taught that there is power in numbers. Lets organize!
    The companies that received bailout money and sqaundered it on CEO salaries or bonuses or millions of dollars in office decor need to give their millions back to the government. The Glass Stegall Act needs to be reinstated and every citizen needs affordable healthcare insurance!
    Please write me in you want to organize. I’m posted this on the Huffington Post website also.
    In peace,
    browar@hotmail.com

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