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More dispatches from the Mason group

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Jan. 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm with No Comments »
January 21, 2009 4:18 pm

From education reporter Kris Sherman

Memories are still coming in from Tacomans who witnessed Barack Obama’s inauguration Tuesday.

Turns out not all of those Mason Middle School kids in D.C. For the event lasted until the bitter-cold end. But they’re still wrapping themselves in the warm memories.

I got this missive and photo in my inbox today from one of the parent-chaperons.

The photo below shows (l to r) Kassidi Reaugh, Allison Hakanson, Grace Groneck, Megan Gezelius at the Nurses Memorial with one of the stars and decorated evergreen trees they left behind to memorialize their visit.

But don’t think they were littering. All the trinkets they left at various memorials get picked up and archived, social studies teacher and tour leader Marilyn O’Malley-Hicks said.

Here’s what parent/chaperon Gina Houghton wrote in an e-mail we received overnight:

It was an exciting but bitter cold day today. Out of our group my daughter and I were the only two that stayed through the whole inauguration. The rest went back to the bus where it was warm! I’ve never seen so many people in one place in my entire life. It was absolutely staggering! The air was electric with happiness, optimism and kinship! It brought tears to my eyes and an extreme sense of pride in my country! Although we were packed in between people so tight that you couldn’t even reach into your own pockets, people were for the most part pretty nice, happy to be there and thought it was all worth it.

"We’re off to do a bit more sightseeing..then off to second leg of our trip – New York, NY!

Houghton’s daughter, 14-year-old Grace Groneck, sent these observations from Tuesday’s historic event to The News Tribune:

At first when we arrived we were around strangers and we were cold. But as we were standing there watching the big screen we all started joking around and became friendly with each other. It felt like President Obama helped us bond with each other. I think President Obama is what America needs. I think he is going to bring a great change to America. He has so many people supporting him. There was so many people there! I’ve never seen so many people in my life. The long trip and lines were worth it though because I now get to say to people “I was there!”

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