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Locals react to inauguration, new president

PLATTSBURGH - Not only was it a big day in Washington D.C., but it was in Plattsburgh as well.

An estimated 200 peopled gathered at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh's Yokum Hall to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama Jan. 20.

Organizer Marti Martin, an alumnus of SUNY Plattsburgh, felt it was necessary for the community to come together to watch the historic event.

"I just felt like it was such an occasion to bring the community together, to celebrate this great day," she said. "I was just wondering, and I started asking around, 'Is there anything special planned?' and I couldn't imagine that there wasn't."

With no other public viewings of the inauguration happening in the area, Martin took it upon herself to make contacts with people she knew at the college and said it "snowballed" from there.

"The people here at the college just took up with the idea and made it happen," she said.

Fellow organizer Lauren Kiefer, a professor at the college, said the whole idea was "very last minute," with six people meeting about a week earlier to get the celebration afoot.

With so little time, there was still a great turnout, said Kiefer.

"I was gratified by how many people came," she said. "People really did want to see it. People really did think it was historic."

A standing ovation was seen throughout the room as Obama took the oath of office, and cheers were heard as he gave what some called an "amazing" speech.

"That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood," Obama said. "Our economy is badly weakened ... Homes have been lost; jobs shed; business shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."

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