By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – Gloria Fitzpatrick is making sure Mississippi is represented at President Barack Obama’s inauguration for the second time.
Fitzpatrick is taking a group of north Mississippians, mostly from the Pontotoc and Tupelo area, to Washington to see the Jan. 21 swearing-in of Obama for his second term.
The group gathered recently in Pontotoc to discuss plans for the trip.
Fitzpatrick also took a group in 2009.
“When I went the first time I said, ‘Y’all, we’ve got to come back again,’” she said. “I knew when we went the first time we would be coming back because normally when a president runs again, they are there for eight years.”
Fitzpatrick said going to an inauguration was on her bucket list and 2009 offered the perfect opportunity, watching history being made as the first black president was sworn in.
“Now we’re watching history made a second time,” she said. “My grandkids can tell their grandkids, ‘My grandmother went not only once, but twice.’”
Shirley Bogan accompanied Fitzpatrick on the first trip.
“It was a good experience the first time and it was great to see (Obama) in person,” she said. “I am proud he is our president and I would like to go back and see him again. I get to tell my child and my nieces and nephews about it.”
The group of about 80 north Mississippians will leave Tupelo the evening of Friday, Jan. 19, in two buses and drive through the night to Washington, returning Monday after the ceremony.
Sandra Evans is taking her son.
“I feel like this is a once-in a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “I have a 10-year-old son, Samuel, and I want him to go and have this experience. He may not get to go to a presidential inauguration again so I want to share this with him.”
Canary Brooks is a Shannon High School student and like Samuel Evans, younger than the majority of the others going on the trip, but she said she wanted to jump at this opportunity.
“To me, as a young adult, I feel like this is a very important opportunity and should have an impact on my life – to see our United States president.”