Neither you nor your loved ones have to experience this season of life alone. ---Mattyee

Neither you nor your loved ones have to experience this season of life alone.  ---Mattyee

Monday, February 4, 2013

Journey Across America: Part II

From Elation To Sadness

Two weeks ago today, I should have been in Washington, DC witnessing the Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies.

The person with whom I was planning to attend the events was usable to attend--affecting my ability to attend.

I held onto hope until the last plane to depart from San Francisco International Airport that I would be able to attend.  [ I prefer not to fly.  I have had two prior experiences of airplane problems.]

The only event I can compare to the feeling I experienced as I prepared for attending the inauguration is attending the Papal Mass of Pope John Paul II at Candlestick Park in 1986--six rows from the front.

The 57th Presidential Inauguration holds significance.  January 21 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  President Obama was inspired by Rev. King.

I did the "dance of joy" in my chair when I learned I had tickets.  I was not able to get a ticket for the 2008 Inauguration.

The excitement grew as I awaited additional details about picking up tickets.  I felt as if I was participating in a treasure hunt.

I was surprised and privileged to receive an invitation from Rep. Nancy Pelosi to a mid day reception on Capitol Hill on January 22.

It saddens me that I was unable to witness President Obama take the oath of office.  But, I was able to share in the excitement and experiences of others via the Internet and the media--an article Saturday on Yahoo, news reporters live from Washington, DC on Sunday, and listening to a live broadcast of inaugural events on Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On January 21, I awoke at 6 am., prepared breakfast and waited for the events to begin.

While waiting, at 7 a.m. I listened to a program on KALW [Democracy Now] with speeches made by Rev. King:  "I have seen the mountain top.  I may not get there with you."  These words reminded me of my planned journey across America to witness President Obama's inauguration.

From afar, I shared the events with the 800,000 people arriving; knew the temperature and the weather--chance of rain; 9,00 people marching in the parade:  marching bands, floats, ethnic bands, African American Boy Scout troop.

Listening to KQED FM (NPR) live broadcast from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

8:30 a.m.          Sen. Charles Schumer - Master of Ceremonies
                         Inaugural Theme:  Faith in America's Future

8:37 a.m.          Mirley Evers Williams - Invocation

8:45 a.m.          Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir - Battle Hymn of the Republic

8:50 a.m.          Sen. Lemar Alexander (TN)

8:52 a.m.          Assoc. Justice Sonya Sotomayor - Administer Oath
                              (Vice President Joe Biden)

8:53 a.m.          James Taylor - America the Beautiful

8:56 a.m.          Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. - Administer Oath
                               (President Barack Obama)

                         21 Gun Salute
                         Marching Band - Hail to the Chief
                        Sen. Schumer - Introduces President

8:58 a.m.          President Obama - Speech

9:18 a.m.          Kelly Clarkson - My Country, 'Tis of Thee

9:20 a.m.          Poet Richard Blanco - One Today

9:28 a.m.          Rev. Dr. Luis Leon - Benediction

9:33 a.m.          Beyonce/Marine Band - National Anthem

12:45 p.m.        Parade
                        Presidential limousine

Through the San Francisco Chronicle, I saw a photograph of President and Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe and Jill Biden on the Capitol steps; the presidential motorcade along the parade route; and the red gown worn by Mrs. Obama, designed by Mr. Wu, for the Commander in Chief's Ball.

I can say the day was bittersweet.  I am blessed to have followed the events via radio.

February is Black History Month.  president Obama will forever be a part of Black History and a testament to what African Americans can achieve.