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Angelenos witness history from AME Church

January 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Here in Southern California, many people gathered at churches, schools and businesses to watch the inauguration festivities. And it was an emotional moment at the First AME Church as Barack Obama was sworn into office.Earlier Tuesday, the church hosted a viewing breakfast. For many in the room watching the inauguration was a heartfelt emotional moment.

From the first glimpse of President Obama on the big screen, they started cheering, even before he took the oath of office. The people that met for breakfast at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church's Assistance Center were made up of young and old, black and white. Some lived through the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. It was an emotional moment for them to watch the first African American president take the oath of office.

"I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime," said Moremi Nzinga. "I wish my mother could be here to see it."

"I was shaking," said Alexis Elder. "I couldn't believe it. I was shaking so much that -- it's still unbelievable to me. I have to pinch myself."

"I just never thought I'd see this day," said Shirley Alexander. "This is fantastic, this is really wonderful. I wouldn't rather be anyplace than here with all my people, my sisters and brothers, and I wish my parents were here, and my sister, and a lot of my family."

"This is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful moment," said Catherine Alred. "I never thought it would come. Ever."

"It goes back to where I come from," said Earl Thomas. "Segregated Louisiana, I rode the back of the bus, I drank out of 'colored' water fountains -- I mean, I lived that life, so I never thought I'd see this. To see this, America is beautiful. I mean, this is what America is all about, and it's a moment I'll cherish. I just wish my mom and dad could see this."

One man said he sang the national anthem for the first time since 1968. Many felt proud to be American.


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