It was 6 a.m. on a freezing January morning in Washington, and Roslyn Stone-Pollock of Pound Ridge was among thousands scaling an escalator from the D.C. Metro, eager to watch history as America's first black president was inaugurated.
"It was this incredible mass of bodies inching forward up this escalator. Everyone was singing," Stone-Pollock said. "I'm not one that's particularly comfortable in large crowds, but I've never felt as close to a million people in my life."
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Almost four years to the day, Stone-Pollock will be among thousands in the Hudson Valley who will make the trek to Washington for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Millions are expected for Monday's star-studded inauguration.
The long day, the cold and the five-hour drive will be worth it, Stone-Pollock said, "if I have a moment at this inauguration that comes close to that moment."
For Mary Ann Carr and 14-year-old Sorvina Carr of Bedford Hills, Monday's inauguration will be the highlight of a mom-and-daughter road trip.
"It was a well-fought election, and we worked very hard in the campaign ... and so we just felt like it's an incredible honor to stand there with him as he takes the oath of office," Mary Ann Carr said.
Along with local well-wishers and supporters, the inauguration ceremony will feature talent from the Hudson Valley. West Point cadets will march in the inaugural parade, and the academy's marching band will perform during the ceremony.
Sherise Webb of New Rochelle will take her mom, 51-year-old Maureen Webb, with tickets provided by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring).
Webb said she was overwhelmed with emotion when she watched the 2009 inauguration and expects those feelings to be magnified while watching in person.
"It's really the energy I'm looking forward to," she said.
The president was officially sworn-in shortly before noon on Sunday, in keeping with the Constitution's mandate that presidents begin their new term on Jan. 20. But because inaugural ceremonies are historically not held on Sundays, the public celebration was pushed to Monday, coinciding with the birthday of late civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.