January 21, 2009

Our Spot in History

Posted by at 12:41 pm in News | Permalink

Kid Reporters covered the 2008 presidential election from start to
finish. Over the weekend, they headed to the nation's capital to report
on the inaugural events and the swearing-in ceremony itself. Here are
some of their reflections on the historic moment.

Some had
tickets to stand near reflecting pools, monuments, and the capitol.
Some even had seats. Most of us in the crowd of 2 million had a little
piece of land no bigger than our two feet planted firmly side by side.
That small area of personal space shifted as more people crammed onto
the National Mall, but it never grew any bigger. In fact, it just kept
on shrinking to the point that you couldn't lift your arms up to
scratch your ear.

As we watched dignitaries take their seats, helicopters flew
overhead. We had no cell service. No way to twitter, no way for the
three Kid Reporters on the mall to text each other their positions.

The Jumbotron speakers caught every sound. Hillary Clinton, soon to
be Secretary of State, walked out in a bright blue coat. Former
President Bill Clinton was at her side in a black coat with a bright
yellow scarf. We could hear the click of Hillary's heels echo in the
halls of power.

The sun was shining, though there were a few wisps of clouds in the
sky. Later, the sky will turn gray, and the temperatures will drop, but
spirits will remain high.

As we stand there waiting for history to unfold, I realize that this
is our spot, right here, on the frozen ground, surrounded by somber
museums housing the ghosts of our ancestors. This spot, right here is
the one we have worked for hours to claim. It is where we have finally
landed after following the person in front of us who was following the
person in front of her. And behind you thousands more follow, marching
in your footsteps.

They all get their spot, like my spot, in history. It is a community
gathering of complete strangers with a common interest more than 200
years old. This is where we will witness the dignity and honor of the
peaceful transfer of power. This is America.

— Christina Dillard, Madison Hartke-Weber, Quinn Jacobson, Jimmy Pitenis
   Scholastic News Kid Reporters 

For more Kid Reporter coverage from the inauguration, visit their Election Blog.

And share YOUR thoughts about the inauguration in a real-time discussion with other kids! Join our live chat on THE STACKS: 1/22, 6-7 p.m. (ET).

Photo Credit: ©Jim Young/Reuters