Several military children from the Burke area were among the more than 3,000 youth and adults who participated in the 57th Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.
More specifically, girl and boy scouts from Burke were part of the “Kid’s Inaugural: Our Children Our Future” concert on Saturday, Jan. 19.
The event, which was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, was a time to come together and honor military families. Performers for the evening included musicians Usher, Katy Perry, Far East Movement, Mindless Behavior, members of the FOX TV show "Glee", actor Nick Cannon, America’s Got Talent act iLuminate, and the Soul Children of Chicago.
Michelle Obama took time to thank the troops and especially the children of military families. She talked candidly about the sacrifices many military children make, including always being the “ the new kid” and the challenges that come with attending between six and nine schools by the time they graduate from high school.
On Inauguration Day, several Girl and Boy Scout Troops from the area took time to assist as volunteers in the event. Girl Scout Troop 870, which includes ninth grade girls from Robinson and Lake Braddock Secondary Schools, spent their day off from school preparing areas for security screening for the public to watch the ceremony and parade. Senior Girl Scout Troop 1946 assisted in many capacities, including distributing coffee at the staging area at Andrews AFB beginning at 2:30 a.m.
Boy Scout Troop 1104, which includes 10 boys and 2 adults, was assigned crowd control positions along the parade route from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“They were courteous, helpful young men that answered questions all day, after waking up well before 4am on their day off from school," said Kim Tomlin, parent of one of the scouts. Tomlin said she was proud of the boys.
Girl Scout Teen Troop 3452, which includes girls from Robinson Secondary, Lake Braddock Secondary and West Springfield High School, spent over 11 hours assisting people in and around the parade route.
"We gave directions to the general public looking for parade-viewing space and restrooms, assisted those with disabilities in finding the special parade-viewing areas, kept the sidewalk ramp clear for those with disabilities to be able to access the ADA viewing area, took tickets for the bleachers and encouraged those with tickets to sit close together to accommodate more ticket holders and kept a security walkway and gate to the parade route clear for police officers and members of the military to relieve those on duty standing along the parade route," said Carol Ann Cunningham, one of the co-advisors, of the troop's responsibility.
Amidst large crowds and a long day, the troop members represented their Girl Scouts well.
“I was very proud of our troop members. They were polite and cheerful the entire day, even when getting pushed about by the crowds. It was an exciting day to see a bit of history in the making. I couldn't have made it from our 3:30 a.m. wake-up call until we returned to Burke at 7 p.m. without a flexible and friendly group of girls and my fearless co-advisor Meg Ross of Burke,” said Cunningham.