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Several from Fay-West travel to Washington for inauguration

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 6:33 p.m.

Connellsville Councilman Brad Geyer and Mt. Pleasant Mayor Gerald Lucia and his wife, Diana, were among the almost 1 million people who visited Washington, D.C. on Monday to watch President Obama take the oath of office for his second term.

“The day was bigger than just seeing the president,” Geyer said. “It really makes you reflect not only how the United States transfers or reaffirms, in this case, power, but how we celebrate our ability to do so peacefully and honorably.”

Geyer attended the event with friends and family.

“It was a larger-than-life event to celebrate history and tradition,” Geyer said. “The emotion around the pomp had everyone so excited. You didn't feel the cold or realize how far you walked and how long you stood, until the next morning.”

Gerald and Diana Lucia said the trip was fascinating and educational.

“People were everywhere,” the Mt. Pleasant mayor said. Like Geyer's party, he and his wife had seats in a special section close to the proceedings. “I found the whole thing to be very educational. You see it on television or you read about it in the newspapers, but actually being there was so much different.”

“I think it was fun,” Diana Lucia said. “I was really impressed as I sat there and watched all the dignitaries come out and be introduced and the capitol looked so nice.”

Geyer agreed that the crowds were large but it only added to the excitement of the day.

“Our tickets were quite close and I could see the President raise his hand as he took the oath,” Geyer said. “But the massive crowd was absolutely amazing. I'm not sure what the estimated count was but I know I have never been a part of a crowd that large. As I turned facing away from the Capitol Building and toward the Washington Monument, there were just people everywhere across the whole Mall. It was breathtaking.”

The President's speech was also a highlight of the proceedings and was well received by the locals in attendance.

“I thought his speech was good and to the point,” Lucia said. “He explained his hope for everyone to be able to work together.”

“I thought his speech was inspiring, as these types of speeches usually are,” Geyer said. “I didn't expect to hear a lot of policy topics because the State of the Union address is coming soon, but he touched on same-sex rights and equal pay. Traditionally, presidents have difficult second terms, but it seems like President Obama is driving head on into his second term.”

The Fay-West attendees also enjoyed the day's entertainment.

“I loved getting to see Beyonce who sang the National Anthem and Kelly Clarkson sang ‘My Country Tis of Thee,'” Diana Lucia said. She was thrilled to hear James Taylor sing. “For me, that just really topped off everything.”

Geyer plans to attend another inauguration and would be especially intrigued to see one where a Republican would be taking office to be able to compare the festivities.

Lucia said this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“You have to go and see one one time to know what it's all about. You have to be there to really know the feeling.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance-writer.

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