It was in February 2012 when Marilyn Woods said she decided she was going to watch the inauguration in person.
She was in Washington, D.C., on a tour of the White House when her group turned a corner and came face to face with first lady Michelle Obama and the family’s famous Portuguese water dog, Bo.
Woods said she knew then, if Obama was re-elected, she needed to see it.
Now, almost a year later, her wish is coming true. Woods will be in attendance for the 57th Presidential Inauguration taking place today. She will join thousands of other spectators watching as President Barack Obama takes the oath to begin his second term in the Oval Office.
A few people from the Rio Grande Valley will also be in attendance.
For Woods, who is UTB President Juliet V. Garcia’s chief of staff, the inauguration also is significant because it falls on the federally observed holiday that pays homage to Martin Luther King Jr.
“For me it’s an important moment in my own history and our history of America,” Woods said. “He happens to be sworn in on the day that we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
“As an African-American I just never imagined it would happen,” the 50-year-old said.
Besides watching the swearing-in ceremony, Woods also has tickets for an inaugural ball.
She said she was going to pay attention to the group of students from Hanna High School, who will rep-resent the Brownsville Independent School District.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Brandon Colon arrived in the nation’s capital Saturday. The student from Los Fresnos High School was invited to go by the National Leadership Forum, a program he participated in during summer 2011.
He said he remembers watching Obama’s first inauguration. Though he doesn’t aspire to be a politi-cian, Brandon said he looks forward to learning of the hard work politicians do before making it big.
As for witnessing the president give his speech, Brandon said he’s very excited.
“I think it’s going to be awesome,” Brandon said. “I’m a big fan of his; just as a person he seems down to earth.”
Los Fresnos United ninth-grader Eric Sanchez also flew to D.C. to witness the historic moment and at-tend one of the inaugural balls.
“It’s not something that every kid has a chance to do,” the 14-year-old said. “It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Eric traveled to the nation’s capital when he was in fifth grade and was impressed by the city’s monu-ments and museums, he said.
He said he is looking forward to hearing the president give his inaugural address.
“It’s going to be a different experience than watching it on television where you can’t feel anything versus when you’re there and you know how it is,” Eric said of the inauguration.
Manny Treviño, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, will march in the inaugural parade with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, a junior drum and bugle corps from Boston.
Though Treviño, of San Benito, just auditioned and isn’t sure if he’s been accepted, he has been invited to perform during the festivities.
The 20-year-old said he is anxious about the experience and the memories he will gain.
“I’m pretty excited,” Treviño said. “I never in a million years thought I would go see this inauguration, so this is a big honor for me.”
Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, who was in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, decided to stay and watch the president get sworn in. He was also present for the 2008 inaugural day.
He said it will be interesting to have the ceremony on Monday because of its historical significance with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Woods said she believes the swearing-in is historic because the president wasn’t just elected, he was re-elected.
“I don’t care which party, either Democrat or Republican, I’ve always watched the inauguration,” Woods said. “I was so amazed at why so many people do go, now. I know it just meant a lot to them.”
Woods, who will share the experience with three of her friends, said the timing of the president’s inau-guration is perfect.
The day’s celebrations will have underpinnings reminding spectators of the civil rights movement, Woods said. She added she is excited about listening to Myrlie Evers, wife of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, during the ceremony.
“It will be fun,” Woods said, “but I expect to experience this moment and imagine how much the lives of so many people have changed. The lives of people who were in the civil rights movement, they didn’t die in vain.”