Clevelander attends inauguration ceremony
by Rory Doyle
Jan 25, 2013 | 2601 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Clevelander Tracey Sanders shares stories and pictures of her trip to the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. with her Head Start students on Thursday.
Clevelander Tracey Sanders shares stories and pictures of her trip to the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. with her Head Start students on Thursday.
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One passionate Clevelander is back from Washington, D.C. after attending the second inaugural address of President Barack Obama on Monday.

Bolivar County Head Start teacher Tracey Sanders has shown pride for her president twice now, as she has attended both of Obama's swearing-in ceremonies.

Sanders, her sister and folks from across Mississippi braved a 16-hour tour bus trip from Jackson on Saturday and arrived in the nation's capital on Sunday.

It was estimated close to 1 million faithful citizens packed the National Mall.

"It was absolutely amazing — just being amidst everybody and being a part of something so historic and significant," said Sanders. "There were people from all over the country and the world."

Sanders' first visit to the nation's capital was in 2009 as she witnessed the inauguration of the country's first African American president.

"One of the things that touched me most this time around was a blind woman who was on our tour bus," said Sanders. "She said she wanted to see the president but through the eyes of her husband who also came along. They have been married for 46 years."

The mood on the Mall was ecstatic and emotional as Obama committed to his second term.

"There was an elderly woman standing next to me with tears running down her face," said Sanders. "She never believed in a million years that she would be in the presence of the president."

Obama's words also sparked a sense of optimism for Sanders.

"It was very powerful when he speaking about caring for everyone — not just the people who already have the most," said Sanders. "As a country, we can do a better job taking of care of everyone."

Sanders' attendance also made a local splash as she was spotted on "Good Morning America" proudly waving her flag and cheering for Mississippi.

"Some people saw me on the TV," she said. "They joked with me and asked me where I was."

Sanders returned to Cleveland Wednesday afternoon filled with excitement and many stories to share with her Head Start students.

"It's been very special coming back and telling them about all the experiences I had," she said. "I try to broaden their knowledge of things going on in the world.

"I hope they all have the opportunity to go to D.C. someday. I teach them the sky is the limit."

While there were fewer in attendance on Monday compared to Obama's first inaugural address, Sanders said event organizers did a much better job keeping the crowd structured.

"I got trapped in 2009, couldn't move and I got claustrophobic," she said. "They had many more fences this time and volunteers welcoming us along the Mall."

The week of new term festivities includes the Swearing-in Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Parade and numerous inaugural balls and galas honoring the elected president.

The official theme for the 2013 inauguration was “Faith in America’s Future,” commemorating the country's perseverance and unity and marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Monday's ceremony also coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.