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Liberty Countians head to capital
0118 barack obama
Pick up a copy of Wednesday's paper for a special inauguration edition.
It will be President-elect Barack Obama standing on Capitol steps Monday being sworn in as America’s first black president, but the Rev. Hermon Scott said he had aspirations of being the first black president since seventh grade.
 “A few years ago, I gave up that dream but I continued to pray that I would see someone who looked like me become president,” Scott said.
The pastor of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church will give a sermon at a Washington, D.C., church and stay to see the inauguration.
“Getting a ticket or being up close is not important,” Scott said. “[It’s] being in the city – the ambience of just being there …”
Scott said his opportunity to speak during the inaugural weekend is a double honor, as the country celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and a turning point in national leadership.
“I’d just like to see the car pass by, carrying Obama,” Scott said. “I could tell my grandchildren I was there.”
Cold weather and crowds of millions aren’t enough to keep the Alabama native away from the historical event. Scott said those who have a place in history have endured worse, like the marchers who crossed in 1965 from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, enduring rain and sloshing through mud.
“I thought the least I can do is be cold for a little while in D.C. and see this historic event,” Scott said. “It’s really an emotional event for me, as opposed to just a historical event.”
Waldo Pafford Elementary School teacher Nicole Carter, who said she started making plans Nov. 5 to head to Washington, D.C., for Obama’s inauguration, said her main reasons for going are her young sons.
“They’ve heard their entire lives that they can be, they can do anything that they want to … but this is actual confirmation for them,” Carter said. “We’ve been [to D.C.], but we haven’t been with five million people. So this is going to be an experience … it’s exciting.”
Carter said she has been showing her fourth-grade class clips of King’s “I have a dream” speech, comparing Obama’s inauguration to the civil rights leader’s 1963 address.
“What we went through back then to get to this point is kind of engrained in me,” said Scott, who recalls memorizing several of King’s speeches when he was 10 years old. “It’s not just something I picked up this year.”
Scott said he was first impressed with Obama’s articulate way of speaking in June 2007 in Virginia.
“This was very different,” Scott said of Obama’s style.
“It was more believable … I looked at the organization that he had and even at that point and thought, ‘There’s a real possibility here.’ ”
Carter said she agrees and feels that Obama understands how the average American citizen lives day-today.
“He speaks from the perspective of where we all come from,” Carter said.
Although he has no preconceived notions about his first visit to the capital, Scott said he at least wants to see the Lincoln Memorial.
“I’m especially filled to the brink when I think of what this day really means,” Scott said. “It’s exciting to know that the dream is closer to being a reality today than it ever has been.”

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