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Road Trip to History: Inauguration Aftermath

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APTOPIX Inaugural Swe_Newm.jpg
Somewhere out there, the Frazier family strains to see there president take the oath of office on the Capitol steps. Again. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

The Chicago Sun-Times is chronicling the journey to Monday's inauguration with the Frazier Family of Marquette Park, and blogging about it. Catch our first story in the series here.

Mckinley Wright, 14, for whom this is the first time seeing the nation's 44th president inaugurated, is mesmerized, glued to the ceremony, straining intermittently to see the dots in the distance of the Capitol steps where this is all happening, then the jumbotron, where it's all very near.

Creative, he finds that if he watches through the zoom of Pamela's camera, he can bring this historic event closer.

Asia Wright, 16, in her own world, has processing of this second inauguration she has attended for this president, apparent in her distant gaze. She walks away from her family to find a clear opening in the crowd. There, she watches, but even more importantly, tilts her head down and listens, to President Obama's "We are made for this moment" speech.

Semaja Frazier, 12, is as enthusiastic as if this were her first Obama inauguration, straining upward to gaze steadily, and waving her souvenir flag and screaming at the appropriate pause and applause moments of Obama's speech.

Brian Jackson, 12, can't see above the crowds, which can be frustrating. He listens awhile, then focuses on taking photos of the sights around him, people's faces, his family, and himself, at his second Obama inauguration.
Pamela is speechless, riveted, but no tears like the matriarch shed as she watched Obama sworn in in 2009.

So many emotions were experienced on this inauguration day, in the words and faces of the Fraziers in response to the words spoken by the President as he accepted his second term, as well as to the vibe, the sights and sounds of the day. It's hard to immediately process.

With cold, hungry kids in tow, Pamela opts to skip the Presidential Parade, which would start in two hours, after 2 p.m. It's a major sacrifice, because if you leave, you likely won't make it back in. So many who were in line with the Fraziers earlier at the general admission gate on 7th Street were just making it in, dejected and disappointed.

But Pamela believes the grandkids, who have weathered a lot this morning, would prefer sustenance, warmth.

After subway sandwiches and a couple hours of sitting, we're warm, rejuvenated. We take our time strolling up along the Mall periphery, shopping the vendors and haggling with them over their so-called "Everything must go" prices. People are hanging out, enjoying the feeling of unity and a certain electricity in the air.

We meet our bus back at RFK Stadium at 5 p.m. sharp, three hours back to Harrisburg. Early night.

Tomorrow, it's a visit to the seat of power for this group, the U.S. Capitol, then we hit the road.

The Sun-Times followed the Frazier family on its first Road Trip to History on Jan. 20, 2009. Revisit the series here:

Road trip to history: From Chicago to the Obama inaugurations

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Maudlyne Ihejirika chronicled the Frazier family four years ago as they traveled from Chicago to see President Obama take office. In 2013, she made the trip with them again to see what's changed - and what hasn't. Maudlyne tweeted the tale Monday:

Storified by Craig Newman· Mon, Jan 21 2013 21:54:38

4 a.m. wake-up call. In lobby feeling like zombie. Boarding bus @ 4:45 a.m. for 3-hr. ride, massive roadblocks, traffic gridlock expected.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Stay tuned.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Ready to see the president! Ihejirika
Off to see the swearing in! Ihejirika
Just arived @ RFK Parking lot w/ zlillon otber buses from across the nation. Thousands spl out. The march begins. Ihejirika
Signals may be nonexistent on Mall w millions phoning, tweeting, blogging. Next post may be after it's all over. Stay tuned!Maudlyne Ihejirika
Allong the 3-mile odyssey, vendors selling everything Obama,, buttons, shirts, I-phone covers...Obama dancing bear? Ihejirika
Finally made it to 7th St. general entrance for those w/out tickets. Frazier family squeezes into a line hundreds deep. Ihejirika
Brooklyn Mayor & promising Democrat Cory Booker interviewing w/ET host outside Capitol. He predicts NY Giants in 2014. Ihejirika
Ok, so after nearly 2 hrs. in general admission line, it's nearly 11 am & Fraziers & tens of thousands still waiting fear they won't get in.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Sadness, then anger sets in. Who organized this? There's only 3 manned stations @ checkpoint for masses. What were they thinking?!?Maudlyne Ihejirika
Finally, angel comes along, announces 5th St. gate for those w/tickets is now processing general admission. We debate, then hike the 2 blksMaudlyne Ihejirika
We make it into new gate on Penn Ave. @ 11:35, 5 mins. into ceremony. Frazier family scrambles toward jumbotron. Biden, Obama sworn in.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Wow! Many emotions. Mckinley Wright, 14, seeing 44th president inaugurated for first time, is mesmerized, glued to ceremony, strains to see.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Asia Wright, 16, walks away from her family to clear opening in crowd where she watches, but more importantly, listens to Obama speech.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Semaja Frazier, 12, gazes steadily, waving her souvenir flag and screaming, at the appropriate pause and applause moments of Obama's speech.Maudlyne Ihejirika
Brian Jackson, 12, can't see above crowds; listens awhile, then focuses on photos of people, his family, himself, at his second inaugurationMaudlyne Ihejirika
Frazier family keeps its date with history: Ihejirika
With cold, hungry kids in tow, Pamela opts to skip the Presidential Parade, which doesn't start for two hours, for sustenance and warmth.Maudlyne Ihejirika
We meet bus back @ RFK Stadium 5 pm sharp, 3 hrs. back to Harrisburg. Early night. Tuesday it's a visit to U.S. Capitol, then hit the road.Maudlyne Ihejirika

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