Gathering to witness history

January 19, 2009 8:30:26 PM PST
Despite the plunging temperatures it's a block party atmosphere as people young and old wait for Barack Obama's swearing in Tuesday. Spectators hopes and expectations are sky high.

"Even though we may not have a ticket, we may be all the way back here but we just had to participate in the atmosphere," Mack Janice of West Philadelphia.

The souvenir hawkers are on overdrive as one of the most momentous days in U.S.history arrives.

"We are really looking forward to some new leadership and such happiness. He brings such great prosperity to the country and uplifting all the people," said Ellen Brookings of Northeast Philadelphia.

Amidst the jubilation some mature people are asking what they can do to help Mr. Obama.

"First of all I start with myself and prove in myself and helping more, being more kind, being more generous, doing more, helping the poor, helping the sick, helping the youn,g giving more of myself," said Iris Miller of North Philadelphia.

For southern born Robin Ross he carries bitter memories of his childhood growing up in North Carolina.

"It really means a lot to me to see an African-American president I'll be honest with you," he said.

Vernon Odom asks, "Because of your southern background?"

Robin replies, "Because of what I witnessed as a child, yes there was a lot of things that happened and a lot of things I saw first hand that you know I'm glad we're past that."

"It's just a wonderful moment for this country that all African-American person can be elected to the president of the most powerful country in the world," said Elaina Suarez of Potomac, Maryland.

Overall there is a widespread feeling of goodwill and renewal but the question quickly becomes how much can Mr. Obama actually deliver?