What does Obama's inauguration mean to you? Share with us

An inauguration potluck is scheduled Jan. 20, 5:30 p.m., in the Friday Harbor High School Commons. The event is free and open to the public.  - Submitted graphic
An inauguration potluck is scheduled Jan. 20, 5:30 p.m., in the Friday Harbor High School Commons. The event is free and open to the public.
— image credit: Submitted graphic

What does the inauguration of Barack Obama mean to you? How will you observe this historic event?

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Here's a list of ways that islanders will be observing the inauguration of our nation's 44th president:

Community potluck Jan. 20
A community potluck will be held in Friday Harbor on Jan. 20 to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president.

The event, sponsored by organizers of Democracy Corner and other local progressives, begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Friday Harbor High School Commons.

At 6:30, the morning’s inauguration ceremony will be shown, followed by Obama’s inaugural address.

Participants are encouraged to bring a food dish to share, plus their own plates and silverware.

The event is free and open to the public.

Several islanders will attend inauguration
Several San Juan County residents will be in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration: Among them, Woody Ciskowski of Orcas Island; Randall Gaylord of Orcas Island and his daughter, Genevieve; Jamie Stephens of Lopez Island; Chris, Kate and Arla Sutton of Orcas Island; Jim and Kathleen Youngren of Orcas Island.

Derin Ross, a San Juan Island native now living in Rock Springs, Wyo., will also attend the inauguration.

Ciskowski, a student at Western Washington University, will also attend an inaugural ball.

This will be the second inauguration for Gaylord. In 1969, he accompanied his parents to the inauguration of Richard M. Nixon as the 37th president.

"I want to make sure I balance that one out," Gaylord said.

"I think it's important to mark big events in life, to do something that brings it home, then it becomes a part of our life. I want this to be a part of my life. That's why I'm going."

The Gaylords lucked out on accommodations. They are taking a train to Philadelphia next weekend, then taking a train into Washington, D.C. to stay with friends of his sister.

Likewise, Stephens' daughter, Jessica, attends Georgetown University.

Eve of inauguration is MLK Day; Obama calls for day of service
The day before the inauguration of the nation's first African-American president is the birthday of the slain civil rights leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

According to Washington State Democrats, Obama has called for a National Day of Service on Jan. 19, "to rally our nation to commit to service in our communities," wrote Jaxon Ravens, executive director of Washington State Democrats.

"The Washington Democratic Party is joining with President-elect Obama in making this call to service. Visit the Renew America Together Web site — — to find a service opportunity or create your own.

"Renew America Together is not just about stepping up to serve for a single day. It's about making a continued commitment to serving our communities throughout the year. Never has it been more important to come together as one state and one nation in shared purpose to tackle our common challenges.

"Together, with our next President, we are asking that you and your family, friends and neighbors sign up to volunteer on Jan. 19, 2009 right now. To get active in your community, please visit Together we can Renew America."

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