The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

February 14, 2013

Texans to D.C. for start of second term

HUNTSVILLE —  

Jurrell Gilliam and JoAnn Anderson are inspired.
They are two of more than one million people who traveled to Washington D.C. to see President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
“I felt connected,” Anderson said. “I felt that it was worth the trip. It wasn’t as emotional as the first one, but it was like, ‘this is it.’”
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swore in Obama on Jan. 21 at the Capitol’s West Front.
Anderson, an employee of Marshalls and a Democratic campaign worker, said the event was the capstone for all those who contributed to the 2012 election.
“The primaries and all of the groundwork we laid in the political process this time needed to be finalized,” Anderson said. “This is a year for Democrats to get that feeling of accomplishment, we fought it all together and it made us much stronger as a small group to continue to push forward.”
The result of that political work is what touched Gilliam the most.
“My heart was leaping with joy because he was a second term president,” she said. “It was overwhelming to me.”
Gilliam, a retired schoolteacher from the Houston area, took seven children and members of her family with her on the trip.
Among those was her 92-year-old mother.
“She kept saying, ‘I just never thought I’d see it,’” Gilliam said. “I said, ‘I never thought I would either.’”
As a former schoolteacher, Gilliam said she dedicated herself to educating the children of the historic occasion.
“I wanted the children to be exposed to things they probably won’t see again in their lifetime,” she said. “I know I won’t.”
The impact the event has on the children, Gilliam said, is the excitement they have when they go home and the memories they make.

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