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Schumer awards 100 last-minute inauguration tickets

When Barack Obama sealed the Democratic presidential nomination, Natalie Anderson and her 7-year-old daughter, Indya, watched his speech on television. When he won the presidency, they did the same.

When Obama gives his inaugural address at the Capitol on Jan. 20, they'll be watching again - this time, in person.

"I feel like crying," said Anderson, 33, of Hempstead, who learned yesterday that she had won two last-minute tickets. "It's something that she will remember forever. She can tell her kids and her grandkids that she was there."

Sen. Charles Schumer announced yesterday that 100 more New Yorkers have been awarded tickets, after the he received additional tickets from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

More than 150,000 people entered a lottery on the senator's Web site.

A total of 275 have received tickets from Schumer's office, including 36 from Long Island.

"I couldn't believe it when I first saw the e-mail," said Omar Morris, 35, a real estate agent from East Hampton. "Everybody's excited. It's not just here - all over the world."

Because many hotels are booked, Long Islanders who won last-minute tickets said they would go there and back the same day, or stay with friends.

Marjorie Bengston, head of children's services at Emma Clark Memorial Library in Setauket, said she will give her second ticket to her hostess in D.C.

"To be able to be there gives me goose bumps," said Bengston, 59, of Port Jefferson. "The important moment will be his speech. I just think everyone will be hanging on his words."

Michael and Rosann Petrizzi, both teachers at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, will report back to their students after attending the inauguration, Michael Petrizzi said.

"It's such a historical moment, regardless of your party affiliation," said Petrizzi, 62. "We had planned to go to Florida on vacation but this is such a great moment that we canceled the trip.

"I'm so glad that we lived to see this day."

8 DAYS TO INAUGURATION

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