These Inauguration Day tickets have taken on a life of their own. It’s like some Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Golden Ticket madness up in here.
A virtual friend of mine (we met through a blog – so millennial!) wrote a heartfelt letter to her senators requesting inauguration tickets… and received a pair, on the spot! That’s an impossibility today, though, because every senator and congressperson is keeping a 1,000-person wait list.
Knowing this, I decided to draft a letter of my own, send it to PA senators Specter and Casey, and also send a copy as a submission to Philly Daily News’ opinion section. And just my luck, they published my letter today!
Here’s a link to the Philly Daily News publication, and here’s a copy of the full letter.
I’m sure you’ve both heard it a million times.
What an Obama presidency represents for this country. How invaluable a ticket to his inauguration would be. And, finally, a request for one. I can’t say that my reasons for writing you are any different, or that my claim to a ticket is any stronger than the next Pennsylvanian’s.
What I can do is tell you a short story.
The story takes place in Port Richmond, Philadelphia, where my father grew up. The second oldest in a family of 4 Italian boys, my dad spent his childhood skinning his knees alongside neighborhood buddies in a schoolyard across the street from his family’s modest middle-class row house.
Grammar school became Junior High. Stickball bats became cigarette butts. And my studious father became the outsider. He was teased for his love of music, his glasses, his clothes… even his hair.
His thick, curly hair. His “nigger” hair, as the kids put it.
Fast-forward 20 years to find his 9-year old biracial daughter, me, playing with my Caucasian cousin in the exact same schoolyard of my dad’s childhood.
It’s the moment when I am first called the n-word to my face. And the moment when an inexplicable bond forms between my cousin and me. Because my cousin not only came to my aid, but he actually chased away my aggressors – who were about 8 years older and 18 inches taller than him.
I’ve noticed a new energy across the country since Obama became the Democratic nominee, and even felt it among complete strangers. It’s in the slight upturn of the corners of their mouths. In the knowing glow in their eyes. And in the pronounced statement they made on November 4, 2008.
I think of this energy as the same inherent urge to overcome ancient barriers demonstrated by my cousin so long ago. It’s also the reason why I’d like to attend Obama’s Inauguration on January 20th. To witness the strength and the courage of Americans like my father, my cousin, and the millions of strangers in between—Americans who made their will for something new loud and clear.
Because Obama’s Inauguration is a celebration of his presidency, sure, but to me it’s more a celebration of all the Americans who made this day possible.
Please let me know if there’s a ticket available for me.
Ms. Ryan D’Angelo Barrett
I’m traveling to D.C. for Inauguration Day regardless of whether or not I receive a ticket to the event. My whole family lives in D.C., and I’d be remiss to miss this opportunity to witness history being made alongside my family. But still… having a ticket would be pretty sweet ☺
What are your Inauguration Day plans?