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Father and son make presidential inauguration a family affair

Gary Minor and his 15-year-old son Mathew shared a special father-son bonding moment Monday while seated on the Mall in Washington D.C. on the west side of the Capitol watching President Barack Hussein Obama take the Presidential Oath of Office.

“It was truly amazing,” Gary said. “It wasn’t about the politics; it was a civics lesson about the role of government and the peaceful transfer of power – we [the USA] found out how to do it. To participate and watch him understand how government works – taking the textbook and making it a real life experience.”

According to Gary, Mathew has been interested in politics and government for several years, “so when the opportunity came along, it was very easy to say yes. I want to thank Cong. Marsha Blackburn for getting us the tickets.”

The adventure began early in the morning when the duo left their Baltimore hotel to catch a train to Union Station in Washington. They made it through security and to their seats located several hundred yards from the podium but close enough to see and hear quite well by 10 a.m. That vantage point gave Gary and Mathew, a freshman at Battle Ground Academy, the opportunity to watch the dignitaries file in and hear several speeches leading up to the president’s appearance.

“I thought it was fantastic,” Mathew said, still excited several hours after the event. “There was an amazing amount of patriotism and unity. We are all Americans who came from different parts of the country to witness the same event – it was electrifying.”

Performances by Kelly Clarkson doing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir performing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” James Taylor on acoustic guitar singing “America the Beautiful” and Beyonce’s delivery of the “National Anthem” were all amazing, but Mathew said he really liked the president’s speech the best.

“He focused on unity,” he said.

Although they didn’t get the different angles one sees on television, “It was great live,” Mathew said. “There was so much energy in person. It was a great time. It is definitely something everyone should do – try to get to an inauguration.”

Being there with approximately 850,000 other people, Mathew was learning “the role people play in government and the role government has in the future to make this a better place,” Gary said. “Matt’s right – this is something every American ought to do – it’s the core of our government. Other countries would be better off taking a lesson – although we don’t do a lot right, this is one thing we figured out and we do well.”

Posted on: 1/24/2013


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