MILLEDGEVILLE — On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Four years later, the nation witnessed President Obama get sworn in for a second term on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Several people flocked to the National Mall to take part in the event.
Milledgeville resident Dexter Ricks and his family were among hundreds of people who had gathered to witness this amazing time in America's history, both in 2009 and 2013.
A number of political analysts estimated that approximately 500,000 to 700,000 people would be in Washington, D.C. for Obama's second inauguration, however inaugural officials of the District of Columbia estimated that 1 million people watched the inaugural address in person this year. In 2009, the District of Columbia officially estimated that 1.8 million witnessed Mr. Obama's first inauguration, exceeding the previous highest attendance record set by Lyndon Johnson's 1965 inauguration where 1.2 million people were in attendance.
According to Ricks, who was one of those million people watching the event, people spilled outward from the Capitol steps toward the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial more than a mile away.
"The first time we went we were situated at the Lincoln Memorial, but this year we were much closer and watched the inauguration from in front of the Washington Memorial," said Ricks as he compared the two inaugural experiences that he and his family have witnessed.
Although the 2009 inauguration was charged with the excitement of having a new President of the United States, Ricks says that this time was a better experience.
"We enjoyed it more this time than last time. The weather was nicer and my kids were a bit older and were able to understand why we were there and the significance of the occasion," he said.
Both inaugurations are experiences that Ricks and his family will always remember.
"It was a marvelous site for me, both times I attended, and a truly extraordinary experience," said Ricks.
Whether through television coverage or in person through your very own eyes, this historic day in the nation will be remembered by all.
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