While the parade and pageantry of the presidential inauguration is over, the memories of this historic event are still ever present in the minds of several Sampsonians who made the pilgrimage to the nation’s capital to witness first hand history in the making. Dozens of citizens and leaders from across the county have returned but remain enthralled by their experience.
GH and Kathy Wilson, who recently attended the gubernatorial inauguration, returned late Monday night from DC and are still talking about the journey and what it means. “This was our first time going to a presidential inauguration. We decided to go to Washington after attending the governor’s inaugural events earlier this month,” they said.
The Wilsons arrived in Northern Virginia around 6 a.m., and after a short ride from Virginia to the District on the Metro and wading through security checks for over an hour, they reached their destination. “We enjoyed everything, including the entertainment, speeches and, of course, the inaugural address from the president.”
Thanks to some friends in the area, the Wilsons were able to watch the event standing on the capital grounds only a short distance from the stage where President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took the oath of office. The Wilso’s say this inauguration showed the prominence of the country. “It gives you a lot of pride. No matter whose party goes in, we all come together and that patriotism was evident,” they noted.
Several residents were able to take in the sites without having to endure the drive themselves. Ingold resident Ambree Spearman organized an inauguration charter trip, affording many from Sampson County the chance to witness history that, otherwise, they would have never attended an inauguration. Tomeka Blue, third vice president for the Sampson County Democratic Party said she was fortunate enough to relax and ride with the Spearman group. “My trip to the inauguration for President Barack Obama’s second term was amazing.” said Blue. “Making it onto the mall was a challenge, but worth the wait! The energy was unmatched. I learned many lessons including to persevere and to follow my dreams.”
Even though presidential inaugurations occur every four years, most people realize the chance of attending these ceremonies are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Remarking on her experience, Debra Bass had this to say, “I look forward to sharing this experience with generations to come. I am so thankful to Mrs. Ambree Spearman for planning the trip and making it possible for so many people to be a part of this awesome experience.”