Chris and I attended President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. I get a little misty each time Inauguration Day rolls around because I remember how it felt to be there and to experience all of the ceremony. It's almost like riding a great roller coaster and wanting to ride it again and again. Once you've been there it's just not acceptable not to be there again. A small group from school got to go this year; I can't wait to hear their stories.
We attended the same church that President Clinton attended in Little Rock. Both Chris's quintet and the church choir were invited to participate in events during the inauguration. The choir sang for a church service the night before the inauguration, and the quintet played for the church service on inauguration morning. We still have the invitations and letters and other items we received. One picture I regret not taking was of the bomb-sniffing dog with his nose buried in the tuba bell at about 5 AM that very cold January morning.
One of the highlights was the church service the night before the inauguration. We shared the stage with Bill Moyers, President Jimmy Carter, Barbara Jordan, and Ken Medema. I even got Moyers' autograph on my program. President Carter's speech was wonderful. He was so down to earth and humble. The choir was seated on the platform, so we could see all of the dignitaries in the audience. I think I remember Vernon Jordan being there.
When the Inauguration began yesterday, I couldn't wait to watch it. I justified turning it on in the library because we didn't have any classes scheduled so I could watch it without interrupting anyone. Due to poor cable reception in some classrooms, three groups of students joined my little watch party. They were so very quiet and attentive through the swearing in and the speech. One of my favorite non-Presidential moments was the performance by Itzak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. WOW! I love "Simple Gifts," and the John Williams arrangement was wonderful. Chris and I watched it again last night.
There were some in the building and some family members who were not interested at all in watching the Inauguration. I know that there are people that I know who are not pleased with the new administration, but I don't understand how some can't appreciate the history involved in this or any inauguration. Our responsibility is to pray for the President and support him whether or not we agree with him. Not agreeing with the President's policies doesn't take anything away from the ceremony and peaceful transfer of power that we as Americans celebrate every four years or so. It's one of those things that makes me especially proud to be an American.