Beverly Bailey is 65 years old, and a recipient of two hip replacement surgeries in recent years.
Yet there she was Tuesday, among 88 patrons and friends of Jerusalem Baptist Church of Youngstown, heading to the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
The midnight bus departure and drive was the easy part. Navigating among millions of people on foot and by rail in the D.C area was the real test.
An hour before the swearing in ceremony, fellow group members helped her along the march toward the Capitol.
“I didn’t think I would live to see ... this,” she said.
But her legs could not keep up with her spirit. She fell to the ground, and her march was done.
She was brought to a nearby chair and watched the ceremony on a TV inside a restaurant.
And she smiled.
Today’s Vindicator brings you that story from reporter John Goodwin. He and photographer Bill Lewis traveled with the church group. That story, along with the feelings and emotions of many others, are in today’s newspaper. You can also revisit their entire trip on vindy.com, with blogs, video and more photos.
From Valley residents tucked in classrooms and businesses and colleges, to locals who made the trek to D.C., today’s Vindicator is a must-read. Pages A4 and A5 specifically, where you’ll find Beverly’s tale, provide a memorable account from many people that illustrates the magnitude of this election.
Yes we have a new president. But we also have a new definition of what America can be.
Even if Obama’s term is deemed unsuccessful four years from now, his election and the nation's hope on Tuesday will remain a measure of what America was destined to be.