Sunday, January 25, 2009

2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama

On January 17,2009, I took a plane to Norfolk, Virginia to visit my niece and her family. The visit was very enjoyable. I had not seen them in a while so it a joyous occasion.

From there, on January 19, 2009, I set off for Washington, D.C. to bear witness to one of the most historic events in American History, the Inauguration of the first African American President, Barack Hussein Obama.

I had the privilege of attending the event, courtesy of California Congressman, Dan Lungren from whom I received a formal invitation and ticket. I visited his Washington, D.C. office on January 19th, and although he was not there, his staff members were very gracious and gave me the grand tour of the place. He has a very nice office which is filled with historical documents. Below are some photographs.

On January 20, 2009, I arose at the wee hour of 3 a.m. I got dressed and headed from my hotel in Camp Springs, Maryland which is about 20 minutes from Washington, D.C. to the Metro station which opened at 4 am. I was on the first train out of the station with my commemorative Barack Obama metro ticket. See below.

I journeyed with hundreds of other passengers down the train tracks to history. I disembarked from the train to the Federal Center Southwest Station which by the the time of our arrival was very crowded. I made my way through the crowd out of the station and on the sidewalk en route to the Capital.

The streets were already filled with a lot of people and police and other security personnel. We were directed to line up and wait for the opening of the gates to the Capital.

We waited in the cold. I am told that it was about 20 degrees at the time. However, I could not feel it. I'm not sure whether it is because of the 5 sweaters, 2 socks, 2 stockings and fur coat or the adrenaline from the anticipation of what I was about to partake in but I did not feel cold.

The time flew by fast. At 7:45, the gates opened and security personnel arrived to screen guests. We presented our tickets and were directed to the ticketed standing area.

Before we knew it, the ceremony began. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. It was simply magical. I soaked in and savored every moment of it.

The swearing in of President Barack Hussein Obama was the most pungent. As he was sworn in, my mind was flooded with thoughts and images of the struggles of African Americans, some relatives throughout time. It brought tears to my eyes and caused me to look to the heavens and thank God with all my heart and soul. I felt humbled by God's grace.

God has truly brought us from a mighty long way, as a nation of people. I will treasure that day for as long as I live.

I pray that God gives President Barack Obama the ability to lead this nation back to prosperity.

My formal invitation (Click to view):

Inauguration Program:

Inside of Inauguration Program:


Karen Packard Rhodes said...

What an experience! I'm so glad you were able to attend.

Let me say that as a white woman who witnessed on television and at home the struggles of the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and who struggled personally to overcome what I had been taught to think, that I am exceeding glad that I have lived long enough to have seen the inauguration of President Obama, our first African-American president. It is a day which I had not, in truth, expected to live long enough to see.

I cannot begin to imagine what it truly means to you, but I am so glad you were able to be an eyewitness to history in this event.

I echo your prayer: May God bless OUR President, Barack Obama.

John Phillips said...

I too attended the inauguration. I got up early and flew from New York down to Washington and caught the last Metro train into town before they stopped running it. I managed to find myself a spot on the Mall where i could see a big screen (I didn't have a ticket) and will remember the experience for the rest of my life. Getting home was another matter. I had a plane ticket but with the Metro not running and because of all the people, it was impossible to move let alone get to a Metro station (even if I had, they weren't running). So I managed to get to the Union Station and caught the very last train back to New York that night - if I had missed it, I don't know where I would have stayed - it was freezing out and I didn't have a hotel!