A day off - and a moment in history

Baraka Wilson is a sophomore at Peddie. He missed school on Monday because he attended the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Monday, the 21st of January, my family and I headed down to Washington, DC for President Obama's second inauguration. At first I didn't think much of it and thought of it as a good excuse to get out of school. My parents, however, were very engaged and involved with the President's whole campaign. After we got through all of the traffic we walked to the Washington Monument to watch the inaugural speech on a jumbotron. It was there when my whole attitude of not being too interested in the whole day changed. It was there where I've never seen so many happy people together in my life. It made me think about how much this one single person really changed people's lives for the better and united the country. Thousands of people were cheering, dancing, and chanting excited for the next four years to come. The President's profound speech really inspired me and had an impact on me. Looking back at it I'm proud to say I was there to witness that speech and a day I will never forget.

John Gannon is a senior at Peddie and also attended the inauguration in Washington.

I was lucky enough to experience the 57th presidential and Barrack Obama’s second inauguration on Monday, January 21, 2013.  Being able to spend the entire weekend in Washington D.C., which happens to be my birthplace, with some of my best friends as well as staying with my sister and her friends at Catholic University opened my eyes fully to the beauty of our nation’s capitol.  Jackson Patterson ‘13, Peddie Alums and George Washington University Students Carlo Buonopane '12, Brandon Kumar '12, and Frank Anastasio '12 were able to share this experience with me. It is one I will never forget. My father, a  politician who worked in the White House under Bill Clinton’s presidency, was able to obtain four tickets for a few of my friends and I for the “Red Zone” which is the area  closest to the stage. 

After standing in line for approximately an hour to just get through security, it was waiting time.  We stood in the freezing cold for hours waiting for the inauguration to commence.  The suspense was a feeling unlike anything else.  All I was waiting for was Obama to take stage and give his speech.  The words that he spoke that day were more fluid and sincere than I have ever heard.   The environment I was in embodied the spirit of the true balance and equality our nation is growing into.  The entire program was unbelievable.  Having musicians Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and James Taylor, along with Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as well as poet Richard Blanco blew my mind.  After having my eyes opened to Obama’s plan, my favorite performers were definitely Beyonce and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.  All in all I had one of the most memorable weekends of my life and look forward to the possibility to returning to Washington D.C. for another inauguration.