Local school participates in inauguration

January 20, 2009 8:06:16 PM PST
The inauguration of President Barack Obama prompted people to gather at several locations in San Jose, and a middle school in Saratoga took part in the festivities in the nation's capital.

The crowd at San Jose's Mexican Heritage Plaza was every bit the nation of language and culture President Obama talked about in his inauguration speech.

"For we know our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness," said President Barack Obama during his inaugural speech.

This president brings a new tapestry of color to the White House -- a fact that had this audience on its feet and at times in tears.

"How far this country has come and the amazing part to me is that all of these people elected him," said Joyce McEwen Crawford.

For all of the talk of President Obama's skin color many say the real victory is indeed a society that sees character, not color.

"A real American because he's one of us -- period," said Aaron Resendez.

President Obama's speech played just as well at Redwood Middle school in Saratoga, but the excitement was really on the post inauguration events.

More than 100 band members from Redwood traveled to Washington D.C. They're the only middle school in the Inauguration Parade and the only band from California.

"We're really excited for them and they're very excited. It's a once in a lifetime chance and I think they've really earned it," said Redwood Middle School teacher Elizabeth Belles.

On campus, their classmates sat for hours watching and waiting for an image that lasted only seconds. It was a very personal connection to history.

"It's really amazing that seeing all my friends and everybody else. It's really amazing," said seventh grader Michael Chow.

The music was not confined to Pennsylvania Avenue.

In San Jose, strangers held hands, united in song, spirit and a promise that America can accomplish together what no one can achieve alone.