Witnessing history

Published 10:51 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2009

By Staff
Group of local residents head to Obama inauguration
By Paul Dunn
Managing editor
The threat of snow didn’t stop an intrepid group of history seekers Monday night as their bus aimed its headlights toward president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 50 men and women from Washington and surrounding communities boarded a bus in the Belk Department Store parking lot at 11:30 p.m. — four hours earlier than they had expected to leave. The threat of snow prompted the schedule change.
Boyd and her bus mates are eager to witness history. The ceremony will also offer a chance for personal growth, she believes.
Boyd’s fellow traveler, Elton Crawford, is on a spiritual journey, too, he said. The notion became clear on election night.
Washington resident Ann Cherry, 65, decided to attend the inauguration during an electrifying election night, she recalled.
Cherry, a retired music teacher, expects strong camaraderie at the inauguration, despite the monumental logistical challenge of the event.
Crawford revels in the historical significance of the event.
Crawford, though, also expects to catch up with long-lost friends at the inauguration. The U.S. Army veteran hasn’t seen a group of his service buddies since they were stationed together ion Germany in 1974. He has strong hunch they’ll be at Obama’s swearing in.
The enthusiasm for witnessing the ceremony may be even more remarkable, given that very few people are expected to actually see Obama on the podium. Close viewing is reserved for high-level dignitaries, friends and family. Cherry expects to watch the event on a series of “jumbotrons” that supposedly will be stationed around the National Mall.
Paul Dunn can be reached at (252) 940-4209 and at paul@wdnweb.com