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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company

 

Local family in Washington watches as Obama steps into second term

 

By MARTHA CHARREY
San Jacinto News-Times editor

While San Jacinto County residents here quietly celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Monday, at least one family from Evergreen, Texas was in Washington for the second inauguration of Barack Obama while also commemorating King's legacy. Dale Everitt, his wife Sharron, their daughter Shay and her husband Michael Poynter were among those watching the public inaugural events as Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Dale also attended Obama's inauguration in 2009. Unlike four years ago, the 2013 inauguration fell on the same day the nation was celebrating the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the social activist who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1950s. Many of the day's events were played out on a Mall that since Obama's first inauguration has added a memorial honoring the civil rights leader. During the past, Dale has attended seven inaugurals while watching as four presidents were sworn in. "Since 1989, I attended the inaugurals of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama," Dale said. His attendance at inaugural events started as he was working with Congressman Greg Laughlin from the 14th District of Texas. "One of the things he wanted me to do was attend inaugurations with him," Dale said, adding, "I've been going ever since." Over the years, Dale and Sharon have been to six Black Tie and Boots balls and Shay has been to three. "She's (Shay) been with us every inauguration and this year she was able to bring her husband, Michael," Dale said. Having worked in public service most of his life, Dale has had the opportunity to meet numerous presidents. "Probably one of the most historical was meeting President Johnson when I was in the military. Years later Sharron and I were guests of Lady Bird Johnson at the very last political event hosted at their ranch," Dale said, adding, "Due to my friendship with the Clinton's I was their guest at the White House twice." Dale is the former commander of the American Legion Post 269, Camilla. "As one of the leaders of the Legion, I feel it is crucial to stay involved on the national level so I may be able to influence policy that will help our veterans. My major concern at this point is not only taking care of the physical wounds of our military men and women, but also accepting and treating the mental wounds many come to suffer," Dale said. Commenting on Washington and her memories there, Shay said, "I've been coming up to DC since I was two years old, not just for inaugurations. Its history is what always astounds me. Walking on brick sidewalks and among buildings that are a hundred or more years old just isn't something you get to do every day. "Another of my favorite experiences is being in a city full of hundreds of thousands of people all here to celebrate such a sacred tradition of our nation. I am thankful to have such a unique family tradition and we hope to continue this for years to come." The Black Tie and Boots inaugural ball is where Texans can celebrate the election of the president. "We were also at the ball to honor Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Kevin Brady and Senator John Cornyn were also in attendance," Dale said. The ball was held Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Gaylord National Resort in Washington. The Everitts spent Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Martin Luther King Memorial where a wreath-laying ceremony was held honoring the slain civil rights leader. Monday, as the president took his public oath of office he paid tribute to King by using a Bible owned by the civil rights leader and minister.

 

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