“This is my first inauguration to ever attend,” Ensley said. “I’m really excited just to see what it is all about. I think it’s a great opportunity for native Oklahomans who live in D.C. or people from Oklahoma to come and celebrate a great American tradition. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the inauguration than with my fellow Oklahomans.”
Along with seeing Obama sworn in, those in attendance and watching on television were able to see the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Beyonce belt out a rendition of the National Anthem, and Myrlie Evers-Williams become the first female to ever give the invocation at an inauguration.
Obama also gave the people a preview of what he wants to accomplish in his next four years during his inauguration speech.
“We are made for this moment and we will seize it,” the president said. “So long as we seize it together. For we the people understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.”
For Shelton, that is one of the reasons he wanted to be at the inauguration for a second time.
“It’s an equally proud feeling that I have to see President Obama in this office,” Shelton said. “I think it’s important as a black legislator in the state of Oklahoma, it’s important to see African Americans in those kinds of positions to give hope to our younger generation that is coming up behind us. I think it’s so powerful.”