The second inauguration of President Obama saw many Alabamians connected to the ceremony. Many from across the state were mentioned or traveled to Washington D.C. to attend or serve in a place of honor.
A Tuscaloosa-based choir will return today after some big performances tied into the presidential inauguration. Members of Westlawn and University Place Middle Schools performed at several venues before and after the president took the oath of office. They were chosen after placing first in the "2012 Heritage National Music Fest." 19 students and 8 chaperones attended the trip.
Their choir director says it is proof that hard work pays off.
"I think of this as an opportunity to be seen at the national level. It shows that hard work does lead to some good things," said Levert Hedgemon.
The Birmingham Police Department sent 12 men and 2 women who were chosen by their superiors to help with the intense security detail along the parade route. As many as 700,000 people were expected to attend the inaugural celebrations.
The Calera High School band was selected to perform as part of today's festivities as well. Out of 2,800 schools from across the country that submitted applications, only one from each state was selected.
Ten Birmingham city students and four teachers who made the trip to see President Obama's second inauguration in Washington D.C. will return home later this morning.
The students also visited the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Museum, and M.L.K. Memorial.
Students were chosen based on their academic achievements and model citizenship. Birmingham City Councilwoman Lashunda Scales says the trip was mostly funded by a local company that wishes to remain anonymous. She said a small portion of the balance came out of the district's discretionary fund.
President Obama's inaugural parade included a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. A float honored the men who became the first black aviators in the U.S. Military. It featured a model of a P-51 Mustang, the fighter the airmen were best known for flying. Some of the Tuskegee Airmen even joined President Obama in the reviewing stand as special guests.
A tribute to Rosa Parks marked another Alabama connection during the inaugural events. During the inaugural luncheon, Senator Chuck Schumer reminded guests that the civil rights pioneer will be honored with a statue. It will stand in the statuary hall later this year. Parks' arrest on a Montgomery bus in the 1950's sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ignited the National Civil Rights Movement.
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