Brenda to Washington DC with Annie and Johnnie

January 19-24 , 2009

Brenda was invited by Annie and Johnnie Harris to join them on their trip to Washington DC for the Presidential Inauguration. They had obtained a 4-bedroom condo in Williamsburg, VA and had been busy planning this trip. This was their view on Inauguration Day from the Lincoln Memorial on the south end of the Mall. The actual Inauguration was on the other end of the 2-mile-long Mall, but you can see the crowds that had gathered around the reflection pool of the Washington Monument. They took the Metro in to the Foggy Bottom station and walked to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Brenda with Annie and U.S. Representative Corrine Brown, Democrat from Florida, at the Pre-Inauguration Gala at the Hyatt in Washington DC on Monday night, January 19. Brenda had flown up to Newport News, VA on Monday morning where Annie and Johnnie picked her up. They took the Metro into DC for this Gala on Monday night.

Annie had found a place in Chantilly, VA, west of DC near Dulles Airport, where they could spend the night with easier access into the city.

Spending the night in Chantilly, VA the group took a taxi to the Metro station about 7am and traveled to the station closest to the Lincoln Memorial. They gathered the chilly but enthusiastic crowd on the steps to the Monument.

Annie and with some folks they met at their vantage point on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

You can see two large blocks of people along the side of the reflection pool where there were large TV monitors. Also at the Washington Monument and off to the right in the photo above are large crowds watching monitors. Annie's group could hear well but could not see the screens well without binoculars.

They could see the Capitol building past the Washington Monument at the other end of the Mall where the Inauguration was actually taking place. Brenda noted that the reflecting pool was frozen, but that the reflection of the Washington Monument on the ice of the pool was still dramatic.

These are images from CNN of some of the things that were going on while they were in the city. Upper left is the luncheon with congress and the review from the Capitol steps, then the procession where the Obamas walked on the street, and then the movement with the family into the reviewing stand to review the parade.

For me, the free walk down Pennsylvania Avenue was the most touching and exciting. I stood in tears as the images from the early 60's in Atlanta flooded me. Those were the years when I and other Georgia Tech and local college students worked with black students from Atlanta University to try to help Atlanta move toward basic equal rights to eat in restaurants and attend churches and other things that we can now take for granted.

On their way to the Metro, they stopped for coffee at a very popular coffee shop on this cold day.

These are Brenda's hosts and traveling companions.

There was a lot of local excitement about our local South Cobb High School Band which made the trip from here to Washington to march in the Inaugural parade. The above are screen shots from CNN and Fox News and the image at left is from Fox.

South Cobb High School is where Brenda went to high school, and we have many connections to the school. I have taught some of their teachers. Caitlin Ayers is in the band, and her parents Chris and Karla are in our Sunday School class. Also, I have two of their band leaders in my class on musical acoustics at Georgia State University.

The band is here shown passing the Presidential reviewing stand. Chris and Karla and all the parents and the whole community worked hard to support this extraordinary trip by this local band.

Getting out of Washington D.C. on the Metro was quite an adventure. They got the cars in Chantilly and traveled to Williamsburg where Annie had booked acommodations for the remainder of the week.

They spend some relaxing days at Powhatan Plantation, Williamsburg. Brenda was able to get out and walk in the morning, even though it was cold enough for the ponds to partly freeze over.

Brenda and visited Colonial Williamsburg. Brenda was interested in the British-style courtroom with its Judge in powdered wig. She said it was similar to a British courtroom we visited in England.

Brenda got to visit with more of Annie and Johnnie's family near Williamsburg.

Elyse's group performs

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