Montclair Mom in DC: “What the Inauguration Means to Me”

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 7:18am

barack-obama-1.jpgMy cool mom friend, Lisa Prince, had to leave New York Sports early to take her family to the inauguration. I was so psyched to hear this news.

asked Lisa to send me her thoughts on this important and emotional day.
Right now, she’s in Washington, DC, attending the Presidential
Inauguration of Barack Obama with her husband and three kids ages 5,
10 and 12. 

Lisa just told me, “The energy in Washington right now is so positive, the excitement is palpable.” Here is more on how she feels today.

Cafe Kristen: Why did you pack up your three kids and brave this enormous crowd for the Inauguration?

Lisa Prince: To
experience history first hand. This is such an important historical
occasion that people have fought decades for. We all needed to be here
as a family to fully participate in the experience. I want my children
to tell their children they were here. I want them to go back to school
and share the experience with their peers and teachers. The energy here
is so incredibly positive.

CK: How are you feeling emotionally?

My father has dedicated his professional life to civil rights. He is
the President of the Urban League of Westchester County in New York.
Dealing with the evils of racism was a part of our personal and
professional lives growing up. Neither my parents, my husband, nor I
ever believed it would be possible in our lifetimes that a black man
would be elected president of this country. This dream has become a
reality with such support and enthusiasm from so many people, not just
black people. It is something to celebrate.

CK: What did you do in DC on Sunday and Monday, MLK Day?

Lisa Prince 5.jpg

LP: We started by going to a book signing by Ruby Bridges, a real pioneer from
the civil rights movement. My older children, Jasper and Austin saw a
film about her in the fourth grade. My youngest, Julian, will learn from her
accomplishments first hand! (See their photo with Bridges at left.) Then we went to the National Mall, close to
the Capital Building where the inauguration will take place. We also
met up with my parents who had the faith to pay for a hotel for this event last
September before Obama was elected.

CK: Where are you staying?

LP: My husband and I went to
University of Pennsylvania, and we are staying with dear friends who
went with us. They live in the Northwest section of Washington, not too
far from the National Zoo. They have three children as well, so it’s a
real family get-together.

CK: OMG, aren’t you worried about traffic?

We left on Sunday from New Jersey, and expected maddening traffic–but
there was none. We made it to DC in four hours.

Fingers crossed for fun and safety for Lisa and the millions of people who are there now. How are you feeling on this historical day?

I am psyched. But I also have to work just like any other day. I’m going to try to sneak a peak at the TV. Here is today’s inauguration schedule according to MTV.

  • 8:25 a.m.: Obamas leave Blair House for prayer service at St. John’s Episcopal Church
  • 8:35 a.m.: Prayer service
  • 9:45 a.m.: Church service ends; Obamas depart for the White House
  • 10:05 a.m.: Obamas arrive at White House for coffee with the Bushes
  • 11 a.m.: Motorcade departs for the Capitol
  • 11:30 a.m.: Bushes and Obamas proceed to platform on the West
    Front; California Senator Dianne Feinstein will issue the call to order
    and deliver brief welcoming remarks, followed by an invocation from Dr.
    Rick Warren and a performance from Aretha Franklin (who also sang at
    Bill Clinton’s first inauguration)
  • 11:50 a.m.: Joe Biden is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice John Stevens
  • 12 p.m.: Barack Obama is sworn in as president by Supreme
    Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Obama, with his hand on Abraham
    Lincoln’s inaugural Bible, will recite the same oath as his
    predecessors: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
    execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the
    best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of
    the United States.” Musical performance from John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma,
    Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill, followed by “Hail
    to the Chief” and a 21-gun salute
  • 12:05 p.m.: Inaugural address, followed by a poem written and
    recited by Elizabeth Alexander and a benediction from Dr. Joseph
    Lowery. The national anthem will be performed by the U.S. Navy Band Sea
  • 12:30 p.m.: Ceremony concludes
  • 12:35 p.m.: Bush departs via helicopter; Cheney departs by limo
  • 12:45 p.m.: Obama signs inauguration papers in the President’s Room
  • 1:00 p.m.: Obama attends congressional luncheon
  • 2:15 p.m.: Obama and Biden review troops at Capitol
  • 2:30 p.m.: President Obama leads the parade from the Capitol along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House
  • 3:15 p.m.: Arrival at the White House
  • 3:45 p.m.: Obamas and Bidens proceed to the reviewing stand; inaugural parade continues until 6 p.m.
  • 7 p.m.: The official inaugural balls begin with the
    Neighborhood Ball at the Washington Convention Center, with performers
    scheduled to include Beyoncé. Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill,
    Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Stevie Wonder and others. Nick Cannon will
  • 8 p.m.: ABC will broadcast the ball, expected to include the president and first lady’s first dance of the night. From there, it’s on to other celebrations, including MTV’s Youth Ball.

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I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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