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
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.