Young SL woman invited to inauguaration
When 18-year-old Kylea Gibson was supporting Barack Obama early in his campaign, she never imagined that a little piece of the history made by the 2008 election would come back to touch her own life.
A phone call from the Obama staff recently informed her that she was being given two of the highly-coveted official tickets as a guest to attend the swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Kylea treasures moments and photos she has had with Barack and wife Michelle, as well as Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Each talked and posed with her while the teen assisted during their campaigning in Storm Lake. She also has autographed pictures from President Elect Obama from when she was visiting with him behind the scenes at his appearance at Storm Lake Senior High School. She assisted with a Meet-and-Greet candidate event at Dr. Nadine Brewer's home in Storm Lake for now-Vice President Elect Joe Biden, and helped during a gathering of Storm Lakers at the Storm Lake Middle School to hear guest speaker Michele Obama.
The daughter of Sherise Gibson-Ellis and Thomas F. Ellis, she holds two of 240,000 official passes - among the most sought-after tickets of all time. Scalpers have attempted to move such passes for as much as $40,000 each online, and well over 60,000 people had applied for ticket consideration. Prominent people such as Attorney General Tom Miller, former Meredith Corp. President Jim Autury and former Lt. Governor Lt. Sally Pederson are among those left waiting to see if they can get tickets, according to media reports.
No tickets are being sold to the event. Obama says that his inauguration will be the most all-accessible in modern history, fueled by small invidual donors instead of corporate and lobbyist sponsorships.
The Storm Lake family recently received a confirmation packet including the two tickets to the Inauguration, maps, guides to historic landmarks and a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Also enclosed is an invitation to view the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
Somer Gibson-Besch and her husband Ted Besch will be using the tickets on behalf of Kylea, as Kylea has a prior commitment and won't be able to go. Somer, 30, promised to take lots of pictures for her sister and she feels fortunate to be able to view this historical event first hand.
They have been prepared for the rigorous security screening process that will be in place from the time they check in to confirm their tickets. They have been assigned a designated area where they will be able to observe the swearing-in ceremony.
The couple has also been advised to anticipate extensive walking as well as standing for at least 4-6 hours during the outdoor ceremony. They have been warned to plan ahead, as the mass interest in Obama's inauguration means that roads will likely be unpassable and parking an impossibility in Washington during the Inauguration celebration week.
On January 20, the Capitol gates will be opened at 9:00 a.m., and a musical prelude will begin at 10:30 a.m. the ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m and due to large crowds, ticket holders are encouraged to arrive early and to dress for the weather. Events kicking off the Obama administration include the gala inaugural parade, 10 official inaugural balls, and several concerts, reportedly to include Bruce Springsteen playing the pre-inaugural show on the mall.
Barack Obama will be sworn in as president just days before the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and his inauguration theme will reflect the timing: "A New Birth Of Freedom," a phrase from the Gettysburg Address. Obama will face the Lincoln Memorial during the ceremony, where those words are inscribed.