While a majority of Americans watched the presidential inauguration from the comfort and warmth of their own homes, there were a few Imperial Valley residents who made the trip to the nation’s capitol to witness the event in person.
Given the event was seen through a number of different eyes, it is no surprise each resident experienced the inauguration in their own unique way.
Students take in memorable event
Prior to Jan. 18, Emma Villegas had never flown on a plane or visited the nation’s capital.
Today, Emma can say she has done both, in addition to witnessing a presidential inauguration.
Emma and 19 other students, mostly from Southwest High School, made the trip to Washington D.C., after a year of fundraising and waiting for the day to arrive.
“The whole trip was absolutely amazing,” said Emma, a 17-year-old Southwest High junior. “We got to see so many things and to be there during such an important time of our country was amazing.”
Emma said she enjoyed taking in the site of the capitol with all her friends.
“All the people were really friendly and the building was so beautiful and interesting,” Emma said.
Valeria Roman said she also enjoyed the time she spent at the nation’s capitol due to its historic sites.
“The trip was like nothing that I have ever experienced before,” said Valeria Roman, a 16-year-old Southwest High junior. “It brought everything I’ve learned about history to life.”
For Itzel Ayala, the trip in general was an experience she said she would never forget.
“It had a mix of everything,” Itzel, a 17-year-old Southwest High junior said. “We saw a protestor in a tree, the inauguration and a lot of memorials and museums. It was a great experience.”
Inauguration a family affair for local teacher
Although William Burns did not have the opportunity to meet his famous cousin, first lady Michelle Obama, he and his family still managed to soak in the experience that was the presidential inauguration.
“It was pretty exciting and kind of unreal because we had never been to an inauguration or an event of this magnitude,” said Burns, a teacher at Calexico Mission School.
Burns said he and his family received “special treatment” due to his family ties to the first lady.
“My grandmother from my dad’s side and her grandmother from her dad’s side are sisters, so that’s how we’re related,” Burns said.
Burns said his favorite part of being a special guest was the private tour he and his family received of the White House.
Valley residents attend presidential swearing-in
Imperial Valley residents visit the U.S. Capitol. (COURTESY PHOTO / January 26, 2013)
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