Local families head to nation’s capital for inauguration

Local families head to nation's capital for inauguration (Image 1)

The 57th Presidential Inauguration is Monday, January 21, and several local families will be among the million-plus crowd at the nation's capital.

Festivities are scheduled to get underway this weekend, with attendance for the swearing in ceremony expected to be larger than that President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

State leaders were given several hundred invitations, which were then distributed to the public by a lottery system.

The Reeve family was among those to be cordially invited by Representative Jim Cooper.

“It's kind of surreal. I don't know what to expect,” said Isabel Reeve.

The 14-year-old is currently a freshman at Ensworth High School. She will travel by plane to the nation's capital with her mother and father. Once there, they'll join her older sister, who attends college in the area, to celebrate not only the inauguration, but also Isabel's fifteenth birthday.

Isabel is excited, but knows the trip won't be glamorous.

“A lot of people [will be there], it's going to be crowded. Probably some hurt feet here and there,” she said.

Her mother, Linda, admitted her family has always been engaged with civic duty. She made hotel reservations in the Washington, D.C. area more than a month ago.

“We were going even if we didn't get to have tickets. We were going,” she said.

Vancey Voorhies and her daughter Shemeka Green are also on Rep. Cooper's invitation list.

“The way the world is changing, I just want my children and my family to be a part of it,” said Green, who requested the invitation. “As long as we have the opportunity, we're going for it.”

Green and her two children visited the White House last year. But for Voorhies, who met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the start of integration, this year's visit will surpass any that came before.

“I don't even have the words to express what it means to me,” she said. “It's just unbelievable. I can't believe I've met Dr. King. His birthday is on Monday. And to see the president, it's is a joy. Just a real joy.”

Monday's ceremony is only the second time in U.S. history that the presidential inauguration has fallen on the same day as the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, which was first observed in 1986.

President Obama plans to use a Bible that belonged to the slain civil rights leader when he takes the oath of office.

As part of their trip, the Reeve family plans to participate in the MLK Day of Service.

Events are being held in all 50 states to honor the life and work of Dr. King.

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