Students watch inauguration

January 20, 2009 8:18:17 PM PST
Hearing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" energized the students of St. Elizabeth Elementary School in Oakland, but it was the swearing-in of President Barack Obama that is likely to have a lasting impression on them.

Most of the children had never sat down to watch a presidential inauguration before; neither had some of the parents at the school, who immigrated not so long ago.

"I feel a lot of hope, it was a spiritual thing and I can see this country going in another direction; Obama was incredible," parent Tamara Centeno said.

During Mr. Obama's campaign the phrase "yes we can" seemed to resonate even among the youngest students.

"I think he will bring to this country lots of new ideas and he might even take the soldiers in Iraq and bring them back to their families," student Narcelito Guinto said.

Saul Lopez dedicated this day to his mother, who arrived in this country before he was born.

"Without her I wouldn't be here and a lot would have changed, so I feel good about that," Lopez said.

Today the school gave these students a new assignment -- to build a better world for all citizens.