My trip to the 2009 Presidential InaugurationIn Washington D.C.
By: Christian OrdazAt 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2009 I witnessed one of the greatestceremonial events in history. I had the privilege and honor of observing the inauguration of the44
president of the United States of America, Barak Obama. My trip started when I wasselected to be a part of the Junior Presidential Youth Inauguration Conference (JrPYIC). TheJrPYIC is a program that is held every four years in January following the presidential election.This program provides inaugural scholars with a unique experience as they take part in and sharefirst hand in the excitement and ceremony of the inauguration of the President and VicePresident of the United States.My name was selected because two years ago when I was in the third grade two teachers Mrs.Linda Weil and Mrs. Janelle Foust both teachers at Tippin Elementary School nominated me for a similar program, the National Young Scholars Program (NYSP). After my teachers nominatedme I was then selected by the NYSP committee to attend. The NYSP is designed and createdspecifically for the nation’s most highly acclaimed 2
, and 5
grade students.Participating in this program is how I came to be invited to the JrPYIC and therefore able toattend the inauguration.From the moment I arrived in Washington D.C. and was placed with a group of kids rangingfrom 5
graders to College students. We were quickly rushed to see and hear Mr. Erik Weihenmayer speak. Mr. Weihenmayer is the only blind man in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest the world’s highest peak. Mr. Weihenmayer also completed his 7-year quest toclimb the seven summits. The seven summits are the highest mountains on each of the sevencontinents. This man was amazing, what I learned from him was that you can take obstacles andturn them into opportunities. In life there are many challenges, but when you persevere evenwhen things seem impossible or others tell you that it can’t be done, you (we) can do it. We canmake all our dreams come true.The following day we had the privilege of hearing Former Secretary of State General Colin L.Powell (Ret.) Mr. Powell has many accomplishments, too many to list, but he is probably bestremembered for his involvement during Operation Desert Storm. He taught me that being aleader is not due to a title, but rather it is about character traits. One of the more important traits aleader must have is the ability to listen. To be a good leader, you must be a good listener.We then heard former Vice President Al Gore speak, he also has many accomplishments toinclude Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mr. Gore spoke of the climate and how it affects the world;He also spoke about his plan to use solar, wind and geothermal power. It was neat to see that wecan do things in a more cost affective manner, He states that his plan would also create jobs. Ilearned that we can think intelligently about using the natural resources this world has to offer.Mr. Gore’s phrase also stuck with me, “We Can Solve It.” I guess that is true for many of life’s problems.Without a doubt one of the highlights of a trip, that was filled with memorable and excitingexperiences was the inauguration itself. To stand among a sea of people with one common hope,