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Today, the world watched as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Sixteen high school students from Springfield were there to see it. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports.
It's the opportunity of a lifetime, one that several Greenwood Laboratory School students are looking forward to.
The 16 juniors in Greenwood's American Government class left for Washington, D.C. a few days ago.
Steven Hinch is a Supervisor of Social Studies at Greenwood.
He spear-headed the trip.
He says he thinks the students will have a lot of fun, even those who didn't follow the presidential race closely.
"Whether or not you yourself were excited, you can't help but feel that energy from just the experience," Hinch said.
Though this inauguration could attract the largest crowds ever, Hinch says the trip has been over a year in the making.
In late 2007, he received materials on a trip to see the inauguration.
Hinch ran the idea by a few of the then-sophomores just before Christmas.
Over the course of the spring and summer, he met with parents and though up ways to raise money.
Hinch says the fundraising during the fall semester drew interest from more students and their parents.
"It's been a lot of work up front, but it's going to be well worth it," Hinch said.
Greenwood junior Myra Milam is one of the 16 gearing up for the trip.
Due to the crowds, she says she's not sure if she'll get to see Obama in person or have to settle for a jumbotron screen.
However, this Obama supporter says she's thankful just to be a part of a historic gathering.
"Being able to tell your family and your children or your grandchildren that you were there and you actually got to see something so monumental is pretty incredible," Milam said.
But not all students are fans of Barack Obama.
Junior Ben Mattax says he did not support the democratic candidate, but says he's still excited to be a part of history.
"I don't think it matters, Republican or Democrat, it's still going to be just as exhilirating to be there, just surrounded by other people and I think it'll be a lot of fun," Mattax said.
Obama's inauguration is the first stop on the classe's tour through D.C.
Afterwards, the students plan to attend an inaugural ball and see the Library of Congress before flying home on Wednesday.
For KSMU News, I'm Benjamin Fry.