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Hundreds from Chattahoochee Valley going to inauguration

His upcoming trip to Washington for the presidential inauguration is a little bittersweet for Columbus High School student Alexis Morton.

“To be the first African-American president was my dream,” he said, laughing.

Morton is one of 73 Columbus High students flying to the event, which is expected to draw millions of spectators. The charter bus to the Atlanta airport leaves Saturday.

“I’m ready to hear a great speech,” Morton said, “and be part of something that will be in textbooks. It is something I’ll tell my children about.”

It seems that several hundred people from this area are making the trip.

Willie Mae Thomas, owner of Thomas Charter in Phenix City, is going and taking with her about 70 people on two buses.

Father Tom Weise of St. Patrick Church is going to his fourth presidential inauguration and staying for an anti-abortion rally.

Brookstone teacher Norma Wolff is among those going. She’ll be staying with her daughter, who has a bedroom window facing the Capitol.

Mattie Arrington of Phenix City is D.C.-bound, too. Maybe, she’ll run into Barack Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, whom she knew when he was a high school student in Auburn, Ala. She was a counselor at the time.

Retired educator Gloria Battle is going as well. It’s a special day for Battle, who used to hear the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preach on Sundays.

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