Witnessing History

Valley Streamers attend presidential inauguration


The 57th Presidential Inauguration was held on Jan. 21 in Washington D.C. to mark the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the nation’s capital to celebrate the occasion, including some from Valley Stream.

This year’s inauguration wasn’t the first for Dermond and Kimberly Thomas, but it was still a very memorable experience for them both. Kimberly, who runs the Valley Stream Mom blog, and Dermond, a village trustee, were able to purchase tickets for the Inaugural Ball, which followed the inauguration ceremony.

The ball was held at the Washington Convention Center, with appearances from the president and his wife, Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, and various recording artists.

When they entered the ball, Kimberly found out from a bartender where singer Jennifer Hudson had previously warmed up. The Thomas’ then got a spot close to the stage and waited for the event to begin. Two hours later, the president and first lady shared a dance for all to see. Kimberly and Dermond were only a few feet away. “Seeing the president and first lady dance and being that close to them was the highlight of our trip,” Dermond said.

The previous day, the two also saw the presidential motorcade down the block from their hotel. Kimberly discovered that the Obamas were attending mass at a nearby church. She said the entire long weekend was great. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so we had to seize the moment,” she said.

Jeanne Greco Jacobs, a school board member in District 13 and the Central High School District, made the trip with her husband, James, and met up with their son, Daniel, who graduated North High School in 2006. The group had tickets to the inauguration ceremony and had a good viewing spot, Jacobs said.

She added that the inauguration process is quite the experience to take in. “The way it’s been done in this country for over 200 years,” she said, “just being there and recognizing that, regardless of your political beliefs, was really moving for me as an American.”

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