Excitement For Tomorrow; Hope For The Future

By Nathan Erickson

Exploring Washington D.C. has been a dream of mine. History & our political system have always been interests of mine, & what better place to experience both than in Washington D.C.? This is why, when I saw the trip being offered through Drake, I knew that I had to do it.

I have been to Washington D.C. once before, but only for 3 days. Having the opportunity to learn about & attend something as significant as the Presidential Inauguration will be a favorite memory of my time as a college student. I am anxious to arrive & start this journey.

I am most looking forward to viewing all of the history that resides in our nation’s capital. On my first visit, we walked the national mall. I saw the monuments to George Washington, & Abraham Lincoln, & other past presidents, but I really want to revisit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. This place has special significance to me.

"The Wall"

“The Wall”

I am also looking forward to experiencing the U.S. capitol building & White House. These are where the most important functions of our government take place. To walk the same halls as some of our most famous politicians will be quite the thrill, I’m sure! I hope that these experiences will allow me to feel that I am connected to all of those that have helped shape our country.

Throughout our time in D.C., I really hope that this encourages me to become a more engaged citizen in the politics of our country. I feel that it is part of our civic duty, & I think that I can do a better job.

As far as the Inauguration itself is concerned, I cannot wait to feel the power that will come from everyday people, standing for hours to hear the plans for our president’s next term in office. I want to hear President Obama speak about making our lagging education system a priority, working to improve foreign relations, & come up with real life fixes to our economic woes. I am sick of hearing all the partisan bickering that has seemed to consume our own politicians as well as the media & everyday Americans. It is time for bipartisan teamwork, & I hope that he will touch on this. I believe that actions speak louder than words, however. In order to really follow through with this, I would like to see Obama appoint a high level republican to a cabinet position. It would be a step in the right direction. I feel that would empower Americans to once again believe in the message of “hope.”

I hope to discover so much about this beautiful city, our political system, & myself in the coming days. Seeing this inauguration will be a humbling experience for me, & I cannot wait to see how it will change my awareness as a citizen!

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