Lake County trio heads to presidential inauguration
By Judy Masterson firstname.lastname@example.org January 18, 2013 8:12PM
WAUKEGAN Monday Jan 14 2013 Friends (standing left to right,) LaTonya Hill, Tammy Moore and Jacqueline Hillary will be attending the the 57th presidential inauguration on Jan. 21 | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
D.C. Divas will share their trip
Photos shared by the D.C. Divas in Washington, D.C., will be posted Sunday on The Lake County News-Sun Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News-Sun/73734231949
Updated: March 20, 2013 3:11AM
When Barack Obama is sworn in to his second term as the 44th president of the United States, three of his biggest supporters, stylishly dressed and dabbing back tears, will watch in person from spots for which they managed to wrangle tickets.
Monday’s inauguration will mark a return trip for LaTonya Hill of Gurnee and Jacqueline Hillary of Wadsworth, who attended the 2009 festivities in Washington, D.C. It will be a maiden voyage for Tammy Moore of Beach Park.
“The first time it was history-making,” said Moore, a senior division president of Diamond Residential Mortgage in Waukegan. “This time it was a hard-fought battle.”
Moore, 42, canvassed for Obama during the 2012 election, contributed cash, and manned a get-out-the-vote phone bank.
“I really felt like it was my responsibility to tell everybody I knew,” Moore said. “It didn’t matter who they voted for. I knew it was going to be a fight.”
The trio purchased their plane tickets “right after” the election, according to Moore, but when they learned that hotel rooms in D.C. were going for $400-and-up per night, they contacted a girlfriend who works at the Pentagon and arranged an extended sleepover.
It will be a no-frills visit, a pilgrimage on a budget, to the nation’s capitol for an inauguration that will take place on the federal holiday commemorating slain civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and also during the 150th anniversary year of the Emmancipation Proclamation. It will be a smaller event than in 2009, when 1.5 million people packed the National Mall.
“It was cold in 2009,” said Hill, 48, who works for Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Deerfield. “But this time we’ll be closer. We’ll definitely see the King Memorial. But we won’t be attending any of the events, no functions. We just want to experience this history. The thought of him (Obama) winning the first time, then a second term, it’s just like ‘Wow.’”
“This time it has even more meaning,” said Hillary. “Not only is President Obama the first African American president, he won a second term on his own merit despite attempts by Republicans to undermine his accomplishments.”
Obama may be black, but he’s president “of all America,” said Hillary, who wants to attend the swearing-in to be a part of “everyone coming together.”
“There will be people there from all over the world, people of all different races, ages and nationalities, all there of one accord,” Hillary said. “President Obama is one of us. He understands our struggles.”
The women leave Saturday and return Monday. They will witness Obama take the oath on two Bibles − one Abraham Lincoln’s, the other King’s. While the main reason for the visit is history, they will find time to “shop and eat and eat and shop,” said Hill.
The economy, after all, is on the rebound, said Moore, who turned to her friends to discuss what kind of hats to wear on the trip.
What else will they take?
“A great attitude and excitement,” Hill said.