Tulsans travel to D.C. for inauguration
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013
1/21/13 at 7:10 AM
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Tulsan Michelle Cooper can remember Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration clearly - and emotionally.
"I was just shouting at the TV. I was just exuberant," she said.
Four years later, Cooper won't have to experience the moment on a screen. She's going to be one of the 500,000 to 800,000 people expected to fill the Washington Mall for the second inauguration of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
She was one of 57 inaugural spectators who pulled out of Tulsa on Friday afternoon on a chartered bus.
Anita Vaughn organized the bus trip as she did in 2009 for the first Obama inauguration.
"We just got an overwhelming response," Vaughn said.
A month ago, the bus was full and she had a waiting list of others wanting to go along.
She said the first inauguration - which attracted an estimated 1.5 million people - was an overwhelming experience.
"That was the most people I've ever seen in my lifetime," she said. "There was an awesome feeling of togetherness. It was just awesome."
Darren Williams, a South Haven, Kan., pastor, signed up for the trip.
"I feel I need to be here for my family's sake," Williams said. "You live for things like this. Everybody's life has some event that no matter what the circumstance, you will defy the odds to be a part of it. That is what this is for me."
Williams was lucky enough to get tickets for the inauguration, meaning he'll have a seat on a raised platform to see the swearing in. Some others on the trip will be squeezing into the public viewing areas, where they will see the events on giant television screens.
Deborah Bell of Tulsa said she campaigned for Obama with her 12-year-old son.
When she voted for him, she said her eyes flooded with tears as she thought of the struggles her family went through for equal rights.
"It's amazing because my son is 12 years old, and he'll be able to tell his children that he campaigned for Barack Obama," she said with a huge grin.
Sharing the experience with family was also on the mind of Tulsan Rhea Vaughn, who was taking her three children, ages 2, 11, and 17 to Washington. Four years ago, she was there for the first ceremonies, an experience she said was "surreal."
The weather for the 2009 inauguration was a bone-chilling 28 degrees, and Monday's forecast again calls for cool weather.
High temperatures for Washington will be in the low 40s.
Cooper said she is going to be prepared with a warm coat and good, comfortable shoes for the long walk she expects will be part of the day.
Neither issue deters her. "He's our man," she said of the president.
Separately heading to Washington are 80 cadets from the Union High School Air Force Junior ROTC unit, the only Oklahoma group that will be part of Monday's inauguration parade.
The cadets had to raise $40,000 to fund the trip and a sizable last-minute anonymous donation allowed the group to meet that goal.
While in Washington, the cadets will also visit monuments on the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery.
Four years ago, Union High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadets also marched in the inauguration parade - the only Oklahoma unit in the event.
Watching the inauguration
Inaugural events will be telecast on all major network television stations and cable news outlets starting as early as 8 a.m. and lasting until 2 p.m.
Here's an inauguration schedule:
8 a.m.: Former presidents, members of Congress and other dignitaries begin to arrive at the U.S. Capitol.
9 a.m.: U.S. Marine Corp Band performs.
10:14 a.m.: First lady Michelle Obama takes her seat.
10:18 a.m.: Vice President Joe Biden takes his seat.
10:20 a.m.: President Barack Obama takes his seat.
10:35 a.m.: Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil-rights leader Medgar Evers, gives the invocation.
10:38 a.m.: The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sings "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
10:46 a.m.: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administers the vice presidential oath of office to Vice President Biden.
10:50 a.m.: James Taylor performs "America the Beautiful."
10:55 a.m.: Chief Justice John Roberts administers the presidential oath of office to President Obama
10:56 a.m.: Trumpets perform "Ruffles and Flourishes" and the Marine Corps Band performs "Hail to the Chief," followed by a 21-gun salute.
11 a.m.: Inaugural address.
11:21 a.m.: Kelly Clarkson performs "America."
11:26 a.m.: Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco reads a poem.
11:30 a.m.: Benediction by the Rev. Luis Leon.
11:34 a.m.: Beyonce sings "The Star-Spangled Banner."
1:36 p.m.: The Obamas and Bidens begin the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House
All times are Central Standard Time.
Original Print Headline: Tulsans travel to inauguration
Wayne Greene 918-581-8308
Rhea Vaughn, of Tulsa, waves goodbye to family members near Fourth Street and Greenwood Avenue on Friday as she gets on the charter bus for the U. S. Presidential Inauguration. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Jonathan Townsend (left) and Ashley Williams board a charter bus near Fourth Street and Greenwood Avenue on Friday to head to the Presidential Inauguration. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Hailey Knauls, 10, boards a charter bus Friday with a group of 57 headed for the United States Presidential Inauguration. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Students from the Union ROTC club prepare to march in the Presidential Inauguration Parade, at the Union Ninth Grade Center in Tulsa last week. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
Union ROTC cadet Michel Becker (left) leads a color guard group during drills at the Union Ninth Grade Center in Tulsa. The group was preparing for a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in today's Presidential Inauguration Parade. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World