Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Coverage of President Obama's Inauguration

I woke up Tuesday January 20th with a huge smile on face. I was excited to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as our 44th President, something that I never thought I would see. I felt so touched to be watching history. I wanted to see with my own eyes that this wasn't a dream and that America was showing the world that we are ready for change and acceptance. I wondered what would it be like to be in Washington for the Inauguration, to bear the bitter cold and to witness the change. This is my coverage of what the inauguration of Barack Obama was like in San Francisco...

The night before the Inauguration, honey and I had heard on the news that there would be viewing parties around the city to watch the ceremony. The news said that in addition to the Civic Center, there would be a large video screens at Yerba Buena Gardens. This seemed so fitting to us as the Yerba Buena Gardens also has the second largest memorial in the nation for Martin Luther King, Jr.

On a surprisingly brisk, clear sunny morning, we arrived at the Gardens at 7:15am in the morning. Honey and I started to walk around the grounds. There were two flat screens and speakers set up, a man selling President Obama t-shirts and excitement in the air. We walked over to look at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. There was a black and white photo of Dr.King giving his "I had a dream" speech. As I was staring at this photo in history, I had goosebumps hearing the details of President Obama's inauguration on the loud speakers in the background. Twelve famous quotations from Dr. King with translations lined the hallway of the memorial. In silence we read each quotation and felt the power of his words. Reading his quotations, I could feel Dr. King's voice, and insight. The memorial was a very beautiful, classic and tranquil place.

We then found our seats in front of the video screen. The crowd was filling up with people from all different backgrounds, races, experiences and hopes. It was hope that connected us all. Hope that change would be coming. I watched a small boy wave at the big screen every time Mr. Obama was shown. A woman in front of us turned and told me her frustration at the channel that the inauguration was set to. Honey said to me 'It doesn't matter what the channel is on. I can't believe that this is happening.'

I couldn't believe my own eyes either.

And then the ceremony began. The crowd cheered as Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter entered for the inauguration. Then the crowed cheered/hissed when they saw Vice President Cheney sitting a wheelchair due to a strained back. The crowd hissed again and a woman pretended to throw her shoe at the screen when President George Bush was shown.

Finally the time came for Barack Obama to be sworn in as our 44th President of the United States. He was asked to protect us and continue to protect the freedom that shapes America. I found myself holding my breath. There was a man taking pictures and approaching people for their names so he can print those photo's in the San Francisco Chronicle. We were strangers, all together and witnessing history in the making. Good luck Mr.President!

Where did you watch the Inauguration? What did it mean to you? Did you ever think you would see this day?


Braja said...

to be honest it means little to me, but just as honestly, no, I never thought I'd see this day. It's a wonderful thing and I hope he can live up to the hype that surrounds him...regardless, it couldn't have got worse, could it?

Laura said...

Yes, Braja I don't think it could get much worse. SO many businesses going out of business and people being laid off. He has such a job ahead of him. I appreciate your honesty.

Georgie B said...

Actually, I was at work that day, and basically had no way of seeing it.

The only thing that bothered me about it was the 150 million dollar price tage attached to this "green" inauguration. The money could have been better spent elsewhere.

Laura said...

Georgie B: 150 million really? I totally agree. It was a wonderful thing to see. Thank you for your eye opening comment.

Le laquet said...

I watched it after the fact but was still thrilled - the world has come a long way! $150 million?? Oh my gosh!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

I watched the inauguration in our living room, flanked by my kids, and my toddler trying to understand why I was crying. I can't ever remember feeling patriotic. It is a wonderful time in our nation's history.

I must say that I am simply loving your blog. A healthy dose of travel and politics? Sign us up for more! We will follow Bay Area peeps have to stick together, you know.


Fancy Schmancy said...

I watched a little bit on the internet, and little bit on a fuzzy tv in the conference room at work. I came home and watched the whole thing on my computer in my bedroom so I could cry tears of joy in privacy. Oh happy day!