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SCA staff member Ashley Hansen provided us with this account of volunteering on Inauguration Day:
I witnessed history.
I witnessed hundreds of volunteers gather for a 5 am check-in to serve our country.
I witnessed my fellow volunteers flow into Starbucks on the corner of 14th and New York Ave to stay warm while the staff called in for backup and fixed the broken toilet.
SCA Alumni Editorial Board member Angie Mrozinski sent us her reflections on the inaugural events today:
"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility, a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task." 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama
As I watched the inauguration of President Obama, the crowd around me shared cheers of excitement, tears of joy and sat in rapt attention as our nation took a step in a new direction. Today we chose to create a new history to leave for our children. A history that will be built by every American.
Reflecting on all the important duties and responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of a President, I am reminded that he is only one man. But just as he is not alone in his work, surrounded by his knowledgeable staff and dedicated family, we too are not alone in our work. All around us are people ready to serve and work hard to accomplish what needs to be done- your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and those you have not yet met.
We have created history today and set our nation on new path. But our work is not done. It is up to us to continue our hard work together. Reach out within your community to fill a need. Reach out to your elected officials so they can serve us better. Reach out to one another across the nation so that together we might each have a personal responsibility within a shared vision. The success of a President depends on the success of a nation and its people. So it is up to each and every one of us. By reaching out to those around us, we can pull our nation up from the ground where we have fallen, to stand tall with our heads held high.
SCA's own Emily McGinty sent us this update yesterday from Pittsburgh's MLK Day events:
I had a great time with the SCA crowd today--from crafts and drumming to ice skating and dancing, we had a really fun time and got tons of people, especially kids, hyped up about MLK Day. Our event ended at 4:30pm and I've just come home with the pictures. I am actually headed to the inauguration in about an hour and a half with 30 kids from my school and 150 people from Pittsburgh---pretty crazy!!
What was truly astounding about spending today with SCA in DC was the palpable spirit of service. In a moment of clarity amid the bustle and energy of the day, I realized just how much we were embodying the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day: a group of unlikely strangers of all shapes and colors joining together for the common cause of bettering our local community, and by extension, our nation.