Vermonters on scene for inauguration in D.C.By Kevin O’Connor
STAFF WRITER | January 21,2013At least a thousand Vermonters and the 55-member Norwich University Regimental Band are set to represent the state today at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernard Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch will have prime seats on the swearing-in stage alongside their wives and Gov. Peter Shumlin. Organizers also gave the Green Mountain congressional delegation about 1,000 free tickets for constituents to sit or stand on the lawn surrounding the U.S. Capitol during the 11:30 a.m. ceremony.
Four years ago, Leahy, Sanders and Welch, facing unprecedented demand from more than 4,000 locals, distributed most of their tickets through a lottery. This year, with expected attendance only about half of Obama’s record 1.8 million crowd of 2009, “we were able to honor all Vermonters’ requests,” Leahy spokesman David Carle says.
That wasn’t the case with applicants to the inaugural parade, scheduled to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House at 2:30 p.m. A record 2,800 groups applied for entrance in this year’s event, which will feature one unit from each of the 50 states.
The Vermont band boarded two buses at its Northfield campus Saturday before dawn, traveled all day and arrived at the nation’s capital well after dusk.
“Everything is going well,” the band’s director, Lt. Col. Todd Edwards said by phone Sunday. “We’re getting all of our final paperwork in order, and students are having fun looking at the sights.”
The oldest collegiate band in the country, the Regimental Band — founded in 1823 — has traveled to the swearing-ins of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Even so, neither Edwards nor any of its current musicians has played at an inauguration. Perhaps that’s why they chose a good night’s sleep over crashing the Vermont State Society inaugural reception that drew several hundred people Sunday night to a Constitution Avenue venue overlooking the swearing-in stage.
The Norwich band is set to wake early this morning for security screening at the Pentagon before lining up near the Capitol. Students, slotted in the fourth of five divisions, will march the 1.6-mile route before reaching the president’s reviewing stand at the White House, where they’ll play the “National Emblem March,” composed a century ago by Vermonter E.E. Bagley.
C-SPAN is promising live commercial-free coverage on television and its website, www.c-span.org. Vermont viewers should look for the Air Force Band leading the fourth division, then wait through the next 10 units while watching for the Tuskegee Airmen float that will precede the Norwich band.
“The cadets are honored and happy,” Edwards said Sunday.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMORE IN Vermont NewsMONTPELIER — Vermont kept its No. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: When all the big mammals are rubbed out and a faint geologic memory, rats the size of human beings will stalk the Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: National survey ranks Vermont kids' well-being in second place, Springfield takes up anti-loitering ordinance, Rutland debate taxis, Fair Haven woman is arrested in Rutland for prostitution.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather and news: Research scientists say schizophrenia and marijuana use linked. Are marijuana smokers schizophrenic or are schizophrenics more disposed toward marijuana use?
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 365 CE, eastern Mediterranean rocked by high magnitude earthquake and tsunami, in 1865, Davis 'Little Dave' Tutt meets Wild Bill Hickock in Springfield, Mo., to settle differences.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Pesticides in soil and ground water are killing not only honey bees and other useful insects, but songbirds as well.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Judge issues deposition order in for city police corporal's lawsuit against the department, market for marijuana-laced edibles en fuego in at least two states, West Rutland truck fire consumes all driver's earthly possessions.