________________________________________________________ Sun, The (Lowell, MA)
January 21, 2009
From Greater Lowell to D.C. for front-row seats to see Obama make history
, Sun Correspondent
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas spoke for many when she reflected on the historic spectaclethat played out on Capitol Hill yesterday.
"Seeing the millions of people present today was like seeing asea of hope," said the Lowell Democrat.Faye Morrison, a former Ayer selectman, also made the trip to see the nation's first black president takethe oath of office."As a woman of color, watching this inauguration was one of the most special events I have ever attended," she said. "And it made it even better to go with my sister and friends, who could reallyunderstand it like I do."Obama, she said, "has challenged us to do better and to be better citizens, but he himself is challengedby taking office during hard economic times and a war."Change simply does not come overnight," she added.Sam Poulten of Chelmsford, a lieutenant colonel with the Army Reserve's 804th Medical Brigade, tookObama's words to heart after attending the ceremony with family and close friends."He said we've been through tough winters before," Poulten said, "and we'll get through this one, too. Thebest is yet to come."Poulten was touched by Obama's words that were directed at military families like his own."He said we had to thank those families for their support of their loved ones who go to war," said Poulten,who served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. "And with my son currently serving in Iraq, my family was gratefulfor that acknowledgement."Poulten's son, Benari, 31, deployed for Iraq last month.Poulten said his daughter would be his date to the New England ball last night.We're going to dance the night away until the Obamas show up for their first dance at 2 a.m.," he said.Tsongas and her daughters also planned to attend the ball."I have a daughter who worked for the Obama campaign for two years," Tsongas said of her daughter,Katina. "It's going to be a particularly big event for her."