Column: Memories of the inauguration

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on Jan. 25, 2009

Ginny Waller of Campton Hills won’t forget being at President Barack Obama’s inauguration any time soon.

Waller also had an ulterior motive for going. It gave her a chance to visit her daughter, Amy Apostol, son-in-law, Liam, and grandson, Jack, who live in Washington D.C., a few blocks from the Newseum.

Last Tuesday, the family left the house at 6:30 a.m. and arrived at their viewing position right in front of the Washington Monument at 9:30 a.m., about a mile away from the ceremony.

It was a human crunch, needless to say.

“The crowds were just phenomenal,” Waller said. “The control of the situation left a lot to be desired, but most people were courteous and kind. I guess it’s pretty hard to manage 2 million people. What do you think?”

While they were too far away to see the action, the Apostols and Waller were able to watch it on big screens.

“I’ve been a supporter of Barack’s from the very, very beginning,” Waller said.

“We hope he can solve all of our problems eventually, but by what he said, we have to do our part. Which is OK with me.”

The family left its perch at about 12:40 p.m. and got home at about 3 p.m.

“We didn’t stay for the parade,” Waller said. “We were frozen. But It was just wonderful to be a part of the glorious day – that glorious cold day.”

And who carried young Jack all this way?

“My son-in-law, bless his heart, did all of that,” Waller said.

Waller plans on spending a few more days with her family before coming back home. But she’ll have plenty of memories from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It was just an amazing experience,” Waller said, “And I’m glad that I was able to be here.”

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