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Saysusie
01-15-2009, 09:40 PM
Hello Family;
Just a short note to let you know that I will be in Washington D.C. for the inauguration from today (January 15th) until next Thursday (Jan. 23rd).
I am still scheduled to sing with the choir on January 19th at one of the official inaugural balls. I was informed that there will be at least 200 members of this choir, so I am hoping that my family can find me with their cameras :lol: Most important, I may have an opportunity to actually meet President-elect Obama and his beautiful wife, Michelle.
I will attempt to post pictures when I return and will tell you all about my experiences there.
Until then, I leave you with my love, gratitude and, of course, my wishes for continued Peace and many Blessings.

Always
Saysusie

rob
01-15-2009, 10:36 PM
Have a safe trip. I'll hold down the fort until you return. Say hello to the new Prez for me!

Rob

DrinkofWtr
01-16-2009, 10:27 AM
Dear SaySusie:

It must be very exciting to go to the inauguration! Let us know all about it when you get back.

cheryl_v
01-16-2009, 10:35 AM
God Bless You and safe journey and return.

BonusMom
01-16-2009, 10:37 AM
What a wonderful opportunity for you! Enjoy yourself and the festivities!

KathyW1958
01-16-2009, 12:10 PM
Hi Saysusie,
I am so happy for you. I hope you have a very safe trip and a fabulous time. If you can see if you can get some pictures to post on here if get the President Elect Obama and his wife. It would be so great.

Hugs,
Kathy

Rastagirl
01-16-2009, 06:20 PM
Oh my goodness, Saysusie, you get to take part in an incredibly historic moment in history! You get to be right there!!

I am so happy for you and pray that your trip will be filled with joy. May your health be good and your spirits soaring with love as you witness the best thing that has happened to our Country (and world) in a very long time.

Savor every wonderful moment!

Looking forward to hearing your stories.............

Fondly,

Lori :D

hatlady
01-17-2009, 08:23 AM
Tears of joy for you Saysusie! Can't wait to hear all about it! And photos, and stories, and smiles.....

One of my coworkers and his wife will be at the Illinois Inaugural Ball. she did a lot of work on the campaign, and must have been able to arrange tickets because of that.

I'll be glued to the TV - - and will watch for a fabulous choir of 200 on the 19th!

May your trip be smooth, the experience overwhelmingly wonderful!

Gisèle
01-18-2009, 01:16 AM
Oh wow!! :o What an amazing opportunity! You are very fortunate to be able to attend the Inauguration and even be a part of it as a singer in the choir! Have an amazing time and a safe trip!! I hope to see pictures, and read any stories of you meeting our new President!! =)

Mary Jane
01-18-2009, 02:11 AM
AWSOME!!! If you get to meet him, tell him the folks at wehavelupus.com say hey. In July I was in San Francisco for the AFSCME international convention. Hillary came to speak in person, and Obama spoke to us via satelite...they both spoke very well. I think this will be a new start for us, I'm very excited about what the future holds...even with the economy the way it is right now. Hope your trip is going well. Have a safe return home.

Saysusie
01-24-2009, 12:32 PM
I AM BACK!!! OMG what an experience. So, let me try to give you my experiences day by day!

We arrived on the 17th of January. That night, I received a text message about a rehearsal at the Hyatt. Arrived at the rehearsal and was overwhelmed!! About 150 people from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!! We were a bit disappointed to learn that we would only be able to sing ONE SONG because they wanted to include a children's choir. Hey, I was just happy to be there singing :P I met a member of a Native American Band that was performing at the Hyatt on the 21st. One of their singers could not make it at the last minute so they asked me if I would sing with them (WOW!!!). Of course I said yes!!!

Jan. 18:
We did a lot of sightseeing (pictures to come later - I dropped my camera jumping up & down after he took his oath and it is ruined!). We attended a breakfast for the choir and then headed to another rehearsal. Then we jumped on the metro to attend the "We Are One" Concert! Did any of you see that concert? We arrived a bit late, but it was remarkable nonetheless. This was our first glimpse of the crowd that was there for this inauguration and our first experience with the amount of love and camaraderie that was exuding from everyone.


Jan. 19:
My whole day was spent in anticipation and preparation for the ball. However, we had 11 other members of our family in D.C., so we all met at Union Station for a reunion lunch. While I was eating and enjoying myself, I received a call from Senator Barbara Boxer's office telling me that we could upgrade our tickets to the inauguration. So, we ran over to the Hart Building, stood in line for 1 1/2 hours and got our upgraded tickets! Again, we met the nicest people in line and were invited to an inaugural dinner on the 20th.
THE BALL: Absolutely beautiful decorations (pictures to come later) and lots of good music. I met some important D.C. people, but I have no idea who they were (lol). No meal, just hors d'oeuvres (but who cares, huh?). I was only allowed one complimentary ticket and the tickets were $500.00 per person. So, my husband stayed behind and let my God-Daughter use his ticket. At any rate, I was soooooo excited and nervous, I spilled tea on the front of my gown. We sang our one song "Lift Every Voice". Sadly, no Barack Obama, but Joe and Jill Biden did appear while we sang and while the children's choir performed. Sadly, they had to leave immediately after the children's choir and I did not get an opportunity to shake hands. No matter, I was there.....I sang......!!
Then...the party started and my God Daughter (age 19) caught the eye of one member of Obama's staff (hmmmmm) :-). There were lots of text messages during her brief stay in D.C.

January 20th (THE DAY):
We got up at 4:00 am to catch the metro. IT WAS SOOOOO COLD!!! OMG!! I believe that it was 12 degrees that day! You will laugh when you see the pictures. I am so bundled up that you can only see my eyes. There were 2million+ people there and I have never participated in anything so love-filled and momentous in my life. In spite of the hours of waiting and the cold, people were hugging, laughing, singing, and generally savoring the experience. I waved to the cameras many times...but no one said that they saw me (probably couldn't recognize me due to my being bundled up so).
Our section (while upgraded) was still a standing area. Occasionally, we looked like a sea of penguins as everyone was jumping up and down trying to stay warm. The Jumbo-Trons showed each cavalcade as it arrived and the crowd cheered each time. When Obama made that walk down the hallway to the staging area, it was sheer pandemonium. Flags waving, people shouting and singing!
Aretha.....what can I say about Aretha :lol:
There was dead silence as he took the oath of office. Once the chief justice said "Congratulations Mr. President" everyone screamed, some fell to their knees, many just cried. The cannons were shooting and that is when I began to cry. Then, when he gave his speech, you could hear a pin drop (other than the sporadic applause).
We hugged and kissed complete strangers! sang, arm-in-arm, with people we'd never seen before in our lives and EVERYONE was giving and sharing good will. It is so difficult for me to describe, in words, the emotions of that day...it was absolutely momentous.
We made it back to the Hotel around 3:00 pm (nightmare situation with transportation after the inauguration) and decided to skip the parade because we had an invitation to a dinner at 6:00pm.....so we needed rest.
The dinner was high atop a financial building in downtown D.C. Michelle Obama did make a brief appearance and spoke a few words. But, there were chief justices there, California former Gov. Gray Davis was there (which was cool 'cuz he was also on our flight to D.C.), NAACP President Frank Mesiah, and others.

January 21:
At 7:00 pm, I arrived at the Hyatt and went over about four songs with the band. Believe it or not, that night was so much more exciting than the night with the choir. This was a ball for Native-Americans et al. It was ceremonious in the beginning with the most beautiful costumes and the music just made me cry. The speakers were absolutely inspirational and they showed a film about their contributions to the campaign and the election.
The band was excellent...professional musicians who played the songs that I wanted to sing with only a very brief rehearsal. I sang a total of four songs...but ended up singing them about three times. In between, my husband and I danced our butts off! My God-daughter (being so absolutely beautiful) had no lack of dancing partners, all of whom were extremely respectful and attentive.
There were no dignitaries at this ball (some staff members from Obama's team who were acknowledged), but it was such a wonderful night.

January 22:
Another day of sightseeing and visiting the capital where history took place the day before. We tried to visit the Lincoln Memorial where the "We Are One" concert took place, but there was a line at least two miles long!

Jan 23:
We filled this days with family activities and souvenir shopping.

Jan 24th:
Home. So glad to be here but oh, so happy and exhilarated that I was there for this historic inauguration. We are planning to go back to D.C. in May and may have a real chance to meet the President at that time. My sister-in-law has a relative who works in the Justice Department and may be able to get us into an event with the Obama's in May. So, I am very excited again!!

Pictures To Come
Peace and Blessings To You All
Saysusie

KathyW1958
01-24-2009, 12:41 PM
Hi Saysusie,
I am so glad that you had a wonderful time. I can hardly wait to see the pictures.

Hugs,
Kathy

hatlady
01-24-2009, 02:01 PM
Oh Saysusie!

Took me a while to read thru this - I am STILL tearing up as I read about the day. What a joy to have been there - THERE - to experience it all first hand. I hope your photos are salvage-able and that you'll share them soon!

At work we crowded around one computer (bandwidth issues - we were trying to get as many of us on as few computers as possible) and watched. When Aretha came out we passed the kleenex box. (LOVED her hat :wink: I want one just like it - only mine will need a brim...)

What a strong speech he gave - and what a weight he now has on his shoulders. We all expect so much. HOPE and HONOR are back in our Nation's capitol.

Many many joyous hugs, Saysusie --

Rastagirl
01-24-2009, 03:50 PM
Saysusie,

Thank you so much for your wonderful accounting of events. That was such a fun read! :D

Your experiences and feelings come across so well......makes me feel like I got a little piece of history through you.

I shall wait in eager anticipation for the pictures you'll share.

I'm truly glad this opportunity was yours to enjoy, something to bring memories that you will treasure forever.

Thank you for being so good to us! :angel:

Fondly,

Lori :P

Mary Jane
01-24-2009, 10:33 PM
WOW, sounds like you had an awsome time. Everytime I saw a choir singing, I thought of you. I've never seen you before; even if I did see you on TV, I wouldnt have know it was you...(I still looked for you anyway :lol: ). Sounds like it was a great experience.

Angel Oliver
01-25-2009, 04:56 AM
AMAZING to read and feel what you felt.So glad you had a wonderful time and you have memories of something that most of us could only watch and imagine on the telly.So glad you could experience that. Looking forward to seeing the photos. Oh n welcome home :)

Love
Angel.xx

Oluwa
01-25-2009, 08:30 AM
Wow, wow, wow Saysusie..hugs. On TV was exciting, I can only imagine what it felt like to be there. Exhilarating...

A day in your life, that you will feel forever. I feel your joy.

As Obama said..let's go change America.

Inside and out..I pray this Administration will lead out us of this financial crisis...and the inspiration he has induced carries on in each of us.

Go America...go Obama Administration....

Love,
Oluwa

rob
01-25-2009, 08:39 AM
Welcome Back Saysusie! I read, and re-read your account of the events in D.C., wow, what a trip, and what an experience. I'm so glad you were able to witness this historic event in person. I have never seen that large of a crowd in D.C. before. 2 million, it's just amazing. Anyway, I sent you a PM. Welcome back, get some rest!

Rob

Larz77
01-25-2009, 09:44 AM
Saysuzie,

I was in Washington years and years ago. This sounds like such a magical experience to have attended. I know just watching it on TV was exciting, I can't imagine being there.

Thanks for sharing your experience....

Larz

mountaindreamer
01-25-2009, 12:54 PM
hi saysuzie,

welcome home, and thank you for a wonderful personal account of history making at its ultimate.

take care, get rest, and thank y ou for everything.

phyllis

Saysusie
01-28-2009, 01:11 PM
Thank You So Much, Kathy, Hatlady, Rastagirl, and MaryJane, Oluwa, Rob, AngelOliver, DrinkofWater, Gheryl, Gisele, and Bonusmom :lol:

I am still reeling from the experience and am looking at pictures that everyone is sharing! I am going through all of my pictures to decide which ones to post here.... :P

Thanx Again
Saysusie

sits_inthe_corner
01-28-2009, 04:14 PM
WOW...what a time!

Course you're resting up and taking good care of yourself so you're not going to be a mess, right? nag nag nag nag

Hugsss glad it was a blast.

Pretti in Pink
01-28-2009, 06:50 PM
I really don't know what to say other than, how grateful I am that you had that experienced and seized every moment of it. That in and of itself is life changing.

Oluwa
02-02-2009, 10:12 AM
Hey you Saysusie...

Wrung out from your journey out east? Wondering how you are....reliving the moment and not holed up in your bed I hope...

Thinking of you...
Hugs..
Love,
Oluwa