Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our inaugural experience.

Last night, Monster, PB and I attended a once in a lifetime event.  My husband is serving in Iraq with the 261st Tactical Signal Brigade.  Beau Biden is a member of this unit, and is currently serving with my husband.  His father and stepmother invited the family members of the unit to attend the Kids Inauguration concert last night at the Verizon Center.  They provided bus transportation to and from the venue as well as securing tickets for all that wanted to attend. 

I was advised that this invitation was being extended several weeks ago.  At that time, we knew nothing other than it would be a concert.  No idea who would be performing.  We had to commit to attending without knowing.  Even at that point, I felt this was a once in a lifetime event for my children and myself.  To attend any part of the inaugural festivities is a big deal.  We committed, and I stressed to anyone I talked to that they should also go if it all possible.  Late last week, the lineup was announced...Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.  I truly about fell over dead.  I had found out that Disney was co-spoonsoring this event with Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, but I never dared to hope that it would be such big name performers. 

We travelled to DC by bus.  The normal 2 1/2 hour trip took us almost 4 hours.  The amount of people, cars, and busses in that town is mind-boggling.  You think you can imagine it, but you can't.  We sat at one light for 30 minutes, watching it cycle, blocks away from our destination.  Eventually, we were given a police escort to get us through.   What an amazing feeling...lol.  Once there, we were welcomed by a member of Biden's staff.  He gave us gorgeous tickets, working very hard to make sure that families were given tickets together.  We were escorted inside and shown to our seats.  We had good seats and the show started almost as soon as we took them.  A Disney employee came out and fired up the crowd, and then Miley came out to open the show.  The screaming was deafening.  Throughout the night, we enjoyed performances and commentary by many actors and artists...Miley Cyrus, Bow Wow, Jamie Foxx, Rosario Dawson, Queen Latifah, Lucy Liu, George Lopez, Demi Lovato, and Corbin Bleu.

Dr. Biden was introduced by her granddaughter, Naomi.  Naomi did a wonderful job, appearing very poised and calm.  Dr. Biden spoke briefly, mentioning that they were also a military family, and then introduced Michelle Obama.  She also spoke about military families, and the struggles we endure during deployments.

The highlight for me was when Queen Latifah was on stage.  Several family members from our unit were brought on stage with her, and we had a link up with their soldiers in Iraq.  Each member was able to give a short message to their loved one...my favorite was the little one that said "I don't have anything to say."  It was a moment that made me swell with pride.  I am proud to be a military family, and sometimes that gets lost.

We didn't arrive back at the unit until 1:30 in the morning, and I was very thankful that the kids didn't have school today. 

Although I didn't feel strongly in favor of either of the Presidential candidates back in the election, I feel strongly now that we must support our President.  I can appreciate the historical nature of everything happening right now.  And I am moved by this.  I've watched several interviews with Michelle Obama, and she speaks of helping military families.  She talks about President Obama reducing the amount of time military members are deployed.  I hope that these aren't just passing speeches.  We need more home time, shorter deployments.  All the special activities in the world don't make up for your mom or dad or spouse being away from you for a year at a time. 

The country today is in a desperate state.  I worry about my job, our finances, what we are leaving to our children.  And although I feel that we have made a significant breakthrough electing the first African-American President, I still do not feel the sense of hope that many others feel.  He is just one man, and he is not God.  And his powers are still limited.


CityStreams said...

That was so stinkin' cool! What a wonderful way to honor military families. That means a lot. It makes me like the Bidens a lot more. I didn't really know much about them.

Anonymous said...

What a great experience!! So glad you all got to go. I'm with you in not having felt strongly thru the election, and wary of the worshipping of him that seems to go on, but I do have hope in his intentions and integrity, and pray he can make headway in the mess.