The historic nature of President Barrack Obama’s inauguration on January 20 drew many to Washington D.C. including those from the Santa Monica.
Former Santa Monica Mayor, Nat Trives, told the Mirror that watching President Obama being sworn in will always be “a moment in my life that I treasure.” People from “every walk of life were there and the mood was electric.”
Trives, who served Santa Monica’s first Black Mayor in the 1970s, noted I’m old enough to remember when to remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was still alive. When Carl Stokes was elected as the first Black Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio some thought the Civil Rights struggle was over. But to Dr. King that was just a down payment on his dream. Dr. King’s dream is fulfilled by President Obama’s election and “it’s a major step forward. His election is more proof that there is truth in the American dream.”
The former Mayor had attended both of President Bill Clinton’s inaugurations but for the rest of the people the Mirror spoke to this was their first time attending a Presidential inauguration.
The Chair of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Westside Coalition, Darlene Evans observed the sense of comradely in the crowd and felt “nothing could surpass two million people standing in silence to hear one man speak.” She “wanted to be there this time” because it was a historical moment.
Ana Maria Jara who is a member of Santa Monica’s Commission on the Status of Women attended the inauguration with a group of family members. It was her Mom’s idea to go. Jara found “being there among everyone was overwhelming,” but the crowd was “peaceful and joyous, and a lot of people were teary eyed.”
When President Obama spoke Jara looked at the reaction in people’s faces and saw a single “sigh of hope faith, and relief.” To Jara, President Obama’s election demonstrates “there isn’t anything that we can’t due if we put our minds together.”
Santa Monica Council member, Richard Bloom, came to the inauguration with his 21-year-old son and his friends so he “saw it through their eyes.” He found “being among people intent on being part of this historic occasion special.”
Bloom noticed when President Obama “took his oath people stopped in their tracks and then a roar erupted,” when it was complete. He “didn’t expect the occasion to be so moving,” and felt “the experience was priceless.”
As a politician, Bloom, felt it was “meaningful to see this dream of theirs (President Obama and his wife) realized,” and their effort rewarded.
Malibu resident Brian Ronge who is 23 attended the inauguration with a group of peers. He told the Mirror it was the “first real political event that I’ve been to.” He and his friends entered the Washington Mall at 2 a.m. in the morning of the inauguration. He found “the inauguration to be awesome and historic,” and is looking forward to attending another inauguration in the future.