Tulsans experience excitement of inaugural crowd
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013
From the president’s speech to the first lady’s new hair cut, 76-year-old Vashti Butler thought Monday’s inauguration of President Obama was all wonderful.
“It was awesome,” Butler said by cell phone. “Everything was just beautiful and his speech was right on.”
Butler was one of 57 Tulsans who traveled 24 hours by bus this weekend to see the presidential inauguration.
Her daughter, Carla Kirk, also went on the trip.
“I would say it was the experience of a lifetime,” Kirk said.
She said she was thrilled by being part of Monday’s huge crowd and the experience of being close to history.
Tulsan Kevin Elmore said his strongest impression was of the crowd, which was huge, but optimistic.
Four years ago, Elmore watched Obama’s first inauguration on television, and he regretted not being there.
“I regretted so much not going the first time that I wanted to make it a point to go this time,” Elmore said. It’s a big part of history and it just made sense.
Elmore said he was relatively close to the ceremony. A large tree obscured his view of the podium, but he was able to see all the details of a large-screen television monitor.
While the president’s speech and the formal parts of the ceremony were special, Elmore said he came away even more impressed by the crowd.
“The energy level was very high, and there was a lot of optimism,” Elmore said. “I think they believed that we’re headed in the right direction, and with a little help from Congress, we’re going to get exactly where we want to be. You could see that in the people’s behavior and mannerisms.
“It was really a reflection of what America’s all about.”
President Barack Obama receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts as first lady Michelle Obamas and his daughters Malia and Sasha look on at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration Monday in Washington. CAROLYN KASTER/AP Photo