Celebrate? Yes, they did

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By John Foster

She never thought this day would come, at least not in her lifetime, but she’s sure glad she did. Tuesday Ida Mae Beaumont saw a man with her shade of skin sworn-in as president.

“I’m thankful that I lived to see a black president,” the 75-year-old Ida Mae Beaumont said.

For Keith Knapp, he didn’t know if he’d see the day again. He knows the comparisons have been never-ending, but the last time he felt this way was with the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

Knapp, the chairman of the Oldham County Democratic Party, took the day off work so he could soak in the inauguration. 

Watching the pomp and circumstance of dignitaries filing in filled him with anticipation, and seeing the millions of people filling the national mall cued his emotions. By the time of Obama’s inaugural address, he watched through tears of hope, he said.

Knapp and Beaumont joined a living room full of Oldham County Democratic Party members Tuesday night in Centerfield to celebrate Obama’s inauguration and perhaps participate.

ABC selected the group at random to be videotaped for possible inclusion during the network’s coverage of the neighborhood inaugural ball in D.C. Videos from parties throughout the country were featured throughout the show. They cheered and clapped and chanted “Yes, we can,” and “Yes, we did,” then settled into the couch to see if they made it on TV.

By press time, the Oldham County group hadn’t popped up on screen.

Whether or not they made it on the screen could not dampen their spirits, though. 

Host Sandy Gerbino said she was glad Obama addressed the current struggles America is facing in his inaugural address, but she believes him when he says he can help lead the country out of those troubles.

She could tell by the faces of the crowd at the National Mall, many of them agree.

“You could just see the hope in people’s faces,” she said.

“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.”

– President Barack Obama’s inaugural address

E-mail us about this story at: jfoster@oldhamera.com