BY JAMES HARPER
Local residents were among the hundreds of thousands in Washington last week for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Many in the crowd were parents and grandparents who were determined that their children and grandchildren had the opportunity to witness history.
“I am glad that it wasn’t as cold this time,” said Daytonan Amina Lowery, who was there with her mom Valerie Whitney.
Regardless of the weather, Lowery said she felt called to take part in history.
Whitney, an instructor at Bethune-Cookman University, along with her daughter and friend Tangela Boyd, also visited the Mary McLeod Bethune National Council of Negro Women House while in D.C. Both are members of the local branch.
Whitney said she and her daughter also attended the inauguration in 2009.
“It was really an awesome feeling. It seemed only fitting that we go back the second time too, given the history that was made with his election,” Whitney said.
Boyd, director of communications for the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said she wanted to be part of history.
“Attending the inauguration this time was very important to me since I missed the 2009 inaugural. President and Mrs. Obama are inspirational and transformational historical figures. I really admire them and felt it was important to be there to show my personal support,” said Boyd.
Also representing Daytona Beach was 8-year-old Edward Butts Jr., the grandson of Daytona Beach icon Dr. James E. Huger, Sr. He was escorted by Thomas and Linda Huger.
Up close and personal
Edward was fortunate to meet First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to Daytona Beach in November before the re-election of her husband.
“She called him handsome and asked him for a hug. After that, he requested the opportunity to attend the inauguration,” said Huger.
Huger said while at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Edward was selected from the crowd for a television interview. He said that the experience for Edward was exciting. Edward is a second-grader at Turie T. Small Elementary.