Charlotte M. Cooper journeyed from the town of New Llano, where she serves as a councilwoman, to Washington, D.C. to witness the second inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 21. "It was a marvelous and exhilarating experience to board a flight out of Alexandria heading to the nation's capital for the 57th Inauguration," said Cooper. She traveled with her friends Mary Cheatham, Opal Haynes, and Bettie Baker. Sunday, Jan. 20, was the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The women went to the office of U.S. Rep. John C. Fleming, M.D., of the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana, to pick up reserved tickets for seating in front of the Capitol. "We met and fellowshipped with some folks from Vernon Parish, and from our Congressional District," said Cooper. Bright and early the next morning, the four friends boarded the Metro to attend the inauguration. They had to make two transfers enroute to Union Station, then walked with thousands of people to a security area. "I sat in the Blue section, and Mary was in the Red section," said Cooper. "She said she was mesmerized. "My heart beat rapidly at all of the excitement, as I never envisioned being this close to the Capitol and getting a seat," said Cooper. The ceremony began at about 11 a.m. "We were surrounded by thousands of folks from from all around and abroad," said Cooper, "and the atmosphere was delightful." Cooper said the crowd cheered when the ceremony began, and an extra roar was heard when President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn in. Cooper said she felt tears run down her face as the president delivered his inauguration address. "His message was timely, thought provoking, and memorable," she said. Cooper was amazed by the size of the crowd behind her when she looked back. "What an amazing view it was to see so many proud Americans at this celebration, standing shoulder to shoulder as we forge upward and onward to make this a better and more prosperous nation for all people," she said. "I have never experienced anything of this nature in my life," said Cooper. "It was surreal to be able to witness the second inauguration of President Obama." The theme of the inauguration was "Faith in America's Future," and it was also the 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome.