Linette Settles of Powder Springs said she has been waiting for this day since Obama’s 2008 election.
“I didn’t go to the first inauguration because, to be honest, I didn’t think it would happen,” she said. “I was dumbstruck. I did not prepare in advance.”
Settles said watching the 2012 election returns motivated her to action, applying for tickets through the district office of U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Smyrna).
“I cannot begin to tell you,” she said about her happiness upon receiving them.
Settles said she will report back to her friends and relatives, who have stressed to her the importance of her journey and her role as ambassador.
“You need to go for your relatives and your ancestors who never thought in a million years this would be possible,” Settles said she was told. “It was 200 years ago we were thought of as three-fifths of a human and in bondage. Now an African-American is the leader of the free world.”
Settles said she, her husband, Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Waverly Settles, and two other couples will travel together to Washington.
Like the Settleses, Angel Arrington of Smyrna credits Scott with making the trip possible.
“I told him how it means a lot to experience this part of history, be part of it and not see it on TV but with my own eyes,” Arrington said about the email she sent to Scott the day after Obama was re-elected.
Arrington said she was “lucky” to be among the 11 Cobb ticketholders Scott was able to accommodate.
“It was a total shock. I thought it was a needle-in-a-haystack kind of thing. I assumed a million people did what I did,” she said about asking for tickets.
The nation’s capital is a natural environment for her, said Arrington, who will attend with her sister-in-law, Jennifer Arrington of Mableton.
“Politics runs in my family. My father-in-law, Richard Arrington, was a civil-rights activist and the first black mayor of Birmingham, Ala.,” she said. “I’ve been a huge supporter of President Obama from Day One and stand by what he believes in.”
Government is also a familiar atmosphere for inauguration attendee Tammi Saddler Jones of Smyrna, who works as the assistant city administrator.
“This is very historic for me,” she said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. So this opportunity is a joy.”
Friends and family attended Obama’s 2009 inauguration, so 2013 is Jones’ turn, she said.
“Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, just to see the president sworn in is exciting,” Jones said.
Jones got her ticket through her husband LaMarr’s mother, Michigan resident Theresa Doyle.
“She told me to look forward to an exciting experience,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be there and bond with my mother-in-law at such a historic moment.”
Like the Settles and the Arringtons, Jones will not be attending the Georgia inaugural ball.
However, her reason is not its $225 ticket price, the slim chance the Obamas will attend or the opportunity to attend MLK Day events at the King Memorial.
“I have to get back for the City Council meeting Tuesday,” she said.