Area residents have front row seat for history

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The last time Robert Pleasant Jr. was in Washington, D.C., he was a kid there as part of his school’s safety patrol trip. He was back in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, to see something he did not see those couple of decades ago.

He saw his president sworn into office.

“I felt I had to be there,” Pleasant said. “I felt a need to be there because I was young during the Civil Rights movement but this was a culmination of what that movement was all about.”

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Pleasant, his brother Craig and some other family members were among those area residents who made the trip to see Barack Obama become not only president but the first African-American president in U.S. history.

Pleasant’s memories of Tuesday are of the nation’s capital filled with a sea of people eager to see change and see history unfold.

And although he was a distance from the center of activity (he and his delegation were by the Washington Monument and watched the inauguration on huge screens) it was still a moment he said he had to experience and will remember for the rest of his life.

“I met people from all over the world, I met Republicans, Democrats and Independents, people of all backgrounds, young and old, black and white,” Pleasant said. “I was so proud to be there.”