Richmond rallies for Obama inauguration

January 20, 2009 6:39:48 PM PST
Many Richmond residents saw the inauguration of President Obama Tuesday as an opportunity to motivate and unify residents locally to stop violence, improve opportunities for young people and become a stronger community.

It's a song the people at the Richmond Civic Center have heard many times, but on this day, the words of the Star Spangled Banner had new meaning.

"A lot of work that we've done is paying off so yeah, there's more meaning this time," said Richmond resident Mary Ruffin.

The sight of Mr. Obama sent the crowd here into a frenzy.

Mary Bulkley got up at 3:00 a.m. -- a silly time the 81-year-old calls it, to be here.

"I've ignored inaugurations before, but for this one I'm here," said Bulkley.

In the lobby of the Civic Center, huge banners, on which some wrote down best wishes and others chose to offer advice.

Whenever it is the last person has signs the banner, it will be rolled up and shipped to Washington for President Barack Obama.

Harold Burton brought his children enthused, and energized.

"It's a new day of change, a day of inspiration and a day of hope and I just feel that we're coming out of the night and into the day," said Burton.

"Barack Obama is our first black president. This is a part of history," said David Burton.

And as history was made in Washington, in Richmond, a promise and another song rang true.

"The dream has been fulfilled, and we have overcome this day," said Richmond resident Charlotte Chambers.