When President Barack Obama put up his right hand to be sworn in at the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Monday, Caleb Northrop was there to see it.
Northrop, 21, a 2009 Hastings High School graduate, was among the thousands who packed the National Mall to witness the historic event. For the student of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the trip represented his first visit to Washington. And as he looked back on the event just hours later at the home of fellow Vassar student Allison Schneider in McLean, Va., he could not help but feel both patriotic and starstruck about his experience. It was every bit as memorable as the junior international studies major had hoped it would be. And his hopes admittedly were high.
"The entire environment was very exciting," he said in a phone interview Monday afternoon from McLean. "I think the most exciting part was obviously his taking the oath of office. It was really cool to know he was so close and that I was literally at the speech, not just seeing it on TV."