Group witnesses inauguration

Group+witnesses+inauguration

Abby Dovre, Reporter

Puyallup High School history teacher Dan Picha and five PHS students witnessed the 57 inauguration of the President of the United States Jan. 22. Seniors Lauren Drury, Cailin Bary and Amanda Carpenter, junior Nicholas Rasmussen, and exchange student junior Mari Bolkvadez   traveled to Washington D.C. to witness President Obama’s inauguration.

The idea for the trip started with Picha realizing the importance of this event for high schoolers.

“As a social studies teacher [an opportunity to lead a trip to the inauguration] is something I’ve always wanted to do. And when the opportunity presented itself I thought it would be great, not only for me but for these kids. What a great opportunity for these kids to go back to WashingtonD.C., across the country, to take in the inauguration of the president of the United States. It’s only happened 57 times in the history of our country. And certainly to make connections for students is invaluable. And I think this is one of those experiences that really counts,” Picha said

Drury explained her desire to go on the trip came from a correlation with her classes.

“Mr. Picha came into my AP U.S. History class and since I was in that class learning about American history (the trip) seemed like something that would really apply to my classes,” Drury said. “Also this year I’m taking AP Government. And I would be able to apply this experience to my schoolwork.”

The historical precedent is what drove Bary to go on the trip.

“I wanted to go to witness history. Seeing a presidential inauguration is a limited time opportunity so I think being able to go and see the second inauguration of our first African-American president is a very historical moment,” Bary said.

The inauguration was an exciting event for the students who went, Bary explained.

“Being at the inauguration and hearing the words of our president, being in a location that has such historical significance, was very exciting,” Bary said.

Drury was also captivated by the inauguration.

“Being at the inauguration was really cool. Everyone was just so excited and it was packed and everyone had their flags.When President Obama would say something the crowd would get really excited,” Drury said

Picha explained why he enjoyed the inauguration more than anything else.

“To be among the 800,000 plus flag waving people, experiencing the swearing in of our president and his inaugural address was great,” Picha said. “Regardless of your political affiliation to experience the inauguration is a great experience. What I thought was great was being out on the mall with people who wanted to be there, there was a positive energy, the amazing stories of people standing next to me, how long it had taken them to get there.”

In addition to the inauguration students also took side trips to tour WashingtonD.C.

“My favorite part [of the trip] was going to the national archives and seeing the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights,” Bary said “Seeing the documents that are the foundation for our country was very interesting and cool. To see things that I’ve heard and read about but are on the other side of the country was an amazing experience.”

The trip left a lasting impression in more ways than one, especially in students’ political involvement

“I will absolutely participate in political processes because I know when I cast a vote, I know where the person who represents me will be. I’ve seen where they are working on my behalf for the betterment of the country,” Bary said.

The energy and the tangible proof of voting rights in action inspired Drury as well.

“I always knew I wanted to be an active citizen because I think that’s important. But being at the actual inauguration, seeing how people’s voices have been heard and they’ve chosen this person to be our president emphasizes that I should be a part of the process,” Drury said.