Local News

Hundreds from N.C. to attend Obama inauguration

Posted January 1, 2009 5:07 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— Hundreds are expected to board buses in a massive road trip from North Carolina to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 20.

Raleigh Martin Luther King Celebration Committee founder Bruce Lightner organized the bus trip.

“Back during the early part of the spring I started getting the sense that Obama was going to be victorious, so I started looking at the inauguration,” Lightner said.

Originally the plan was to take two buses.

“Within a 30 day period of time it became real clear that we need to organize it statewide,” Lightner.

The 30 buses are expected to carry about 1,700 people.

One of the bus drivers, Arnold Davis, said he is not deterred by the likely busy D.C. roadways.

“I would go through it in a minute because of why we’re going. It’s an historical event and I’m going to be part of it,” Davis said.

The inauguration will be the second time Lightner will witness history at the National Mall. As a high school student, Lightner hitchhiked to Washington to see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech.

“I don’t think anybody could have seen the day when America would elect an African-American president. This whole thing has been such a force that’s even more powerful than Obama himself,” Lightner said.