Locals celebrate as Obama takes office
The room was filled with quiet chatter until the voice coming from the 73-inch television announced the arrival of President-elect Barack Obama. At that moment, the crowd began to clap and cheer followed by silent attention.
The group knew they were witnessing a historical event-one that many did not see coming in their lifetime.
Vera Martin of Russellville shed tears as she watched the forty-fourth president take his oath of office.
"This is an amazing day," Martin said. "I've been waiting a long time to see this day."
There were several others like Martin who sat in the room watching a black man be sworn into office. Some clapped while others cheered. But, all in attendance were happy for this day.
"I am so excited to be here today," Cheryl Hamilton said. "Today is a button day. I've got all my Obama buttons on, but I also remembered buying pearls because Michelle Obama asked that we all wear pearls today for this event."
Russellville Mayor Troy Oliver compared the day's events to the historical moments of President Abraham Lincoln when he announced the Emanicpation Proclamation.
"Today is another great day," Oliver said. "The dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is alive today. That dream is not a destination but a journey. I'm sure it's going to continue because of the character of the people in this room."
Council member Lanny Hubbard urged everyone to come together for a stronger country.
"It's a time for everyone to pitch in and come together," Hubbard said. "This is a turning point. A new beginning."