Madison gathers to watch inauguration, witness history - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison gathers to watch inauguration, witness history

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Madison (WKOW) -- People packed the Monona Terrace convention center to witness history and watch the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama.

They included Madison community leaders; people who had campaigned in Wisconsin for President Obama over the months;  and people who just wanted to share a remarkable experience.

For seemingly everyone at the Madison facility, the completion of the oath of office was sheer joy.

"I'm speechless, I'm overjoyed,"  Madison resident Carol Gruba said.

"(There's) Gratitude.  Gratitude to God for allowing this moment in our history,"  Rena Crispin  said.

President Obama's acceptance speech brought tears and produced applause, especially when the new president referenced restoring science to its rightful place - possibly a reference to current restrictions on stem cell research - and when he referenced a foreign policy to include responsibly leaving Iraq.

Even in their excitement, people in Madison who viewed the inaugural event put this historical moment into perspective.

"It's over the years that have made this day possible,"  Madison resident Linda Franklin said.

"It's not just Barack Obama, and there's something beyond Barack that has allowed this day to happen."

"We still have alot to do in America,"  student Maya Warren said.

"We still have alot to do in the world, but the door has been opened that much more."

Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz said he got goosebumps as he watched the ceremony for the man he endorsed for the presidency about a year ago.

"When we tell kids you can anything you want to in this world, we can actually believe that,"  former Madison school board member Johnny Winston said.

Some in attendance said school, work, or cost kept them from their original plan of going to Washington for the inauguration, but they did not appear disappointed as this historic transition of power played out.

This free, inaugural viewing was staged by the sponsoring organization for Madison's observance of Martin Luther King Junior Day.

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