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Town pauses for historic Inauguration

By Staff | Jan 23, 2009

Shepherdstown’s Mable Cotgreave didn’t didn’t seem to mind that Barack Obama was sworn in office Tuesday during lunch. Photo by Todd Cotgreave

At noon on Jan. 20 at the National Mall in D.C. over 1 million people watched as the new President Barack Obama was sworn into office.

Those who did not dare to venture into D.C., including residents of Shepherdstown, did not miss the chance to watch the inauguration in a less hectic environment. The inauguration could be seen and heard in every part of Shepherdstown.

During the ceremony, business owners took a quick break from their daily responsibilities to watch the coverage on television.

Kathy Lowrey, a Martinsburg resident, was fulfilling her duties at the Steppin’ Out shoe store on German Street while she watched the historic event.

She took a break to give her opinion that the inauguration of Obama “was and is exciting … I’m hoping everybody [at the ceremony] had a good time and I could not believe there were so many people present.”

Along with those on German Street, workers and students at Shepherd University paused to watch the activities in D.C. The atmosphere of the Multicultural and Community Service office in the Student Center was one prepared specifically for the inauguration, filled with students and employees snacking on celebratory donuts and soda.

Among them was Jonathon Calabretta, Community Service Programming assistant.

“I have never really watched an inauguration before,” he said. “Michelle [Obama] looked amazing today … and I believe having [the Obama] children in the White House will give the president a positive perspective on all of the generations he is serving.”

The viewing of the inauguration was something very accessible to the students of Shepherd University. In the middle of the lounge area the ceremonial coverage was projected onto a large screen.

Students were able to watch the ceremony from a couch while they were eating lunch or while playing ping pong.

Fellow seniors and loungers, Courtney Bouldin and Adin Ray, expressed their ideas on the inauguration. Bouldin, an Environmental science major said “[Obama] was amazing; he covered a broad spectrum of people and spoke on an individual basis.”

Ray added that his speech “was amazing, and the content of what he spoke about was monumental; I am excited for the future with (Obama).”