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Some Hagerstown residents heading to D.C. on Inauguration Day

January 20, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
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Karen Cremins is a Democrat who supported Barack Obama’s re-election bid. Her husband, Jim Cremins, identifies himself as a conservative.

Their son, Sean, a graduate of North Hagerstown High School, will perform Monday in the inaugural parade with the Boston College Screaming Eagles Marching Band.

“It’s such a huge honor to be able to perform,” said Sean Cremins, 19, a sophomore at Boston College. “It’s nothing I ever expected to do.”

Sean Cremins’ mother and brother, Tom, 14, an eighth-grader at Northern Middle School, will attend the inauguration. Jim Cremins, who is a doctor, will remain at home to care for his patients, but he said he is proud of his son despite his own political views.

“This is about him and not about politics,” he said. “Any young person who would have the chance to be a part of an inaugural parade would get the chance of a lifetime. It’s one of these things you tell your grandkids about.”

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Karen Cremins said that going to the inauguration works out for her in two ways.

“Seeing him, and Obama sworn in for a second time is going to be awesome,” she said. “We’re very proud of Sean, and I’m just thrilled that he’s getting an opportunity to march for the inaugural parade.”

Jim and Karen Cremins both said, though, that they try to avoid political conversations in the house.

“It’s not a big point of contention, we just have differing views,” Jim Cremins said.

“We do OK with our political separateness and try to respect each others’ views, but for the most part, we try to avoid making politics the main focus in the household,” Karen Cremins said.

Heading to D.C.

Officials of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum organized a bus trip to take area residents to the inauguration.

The 55-seat bus was scheduled to leave Hagerstown around 6 a.m. Monday. Those interested could purchase a ticket for $45, Museum Board Chair Tamara Doleman said.

Former Hagerstown City Councilwoman Alesia Parson-McBean was leaving Friday to take part in weekend activities. She said she would stay with her sister in Upper Marlboro, Md., in Prince George’s County.

“Monday is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so it will be a combination of celebrating our 44th president and Dr. King,” Parson-McBean said. “I’m definitely looking forward to being with like minds who believe that we all have to look out for each other. President Obama’s re-election shows ... how many people in the country support his views.”

Hagerstown City Councilman Lewis Metzner said he attended the event in 2009 and will be there Monday with his sister.

“The first time I went was electric and very memorable, and I wouldn’t miss this one,” he said. “It’s historic.”

Metzner said the president’s re-election signifies the country becoming more socially liberal and that he expects such policies to continue over the next four years.

“Being a more fiscally conservative nation, you see us becoming more socially liberal with gay rights and the legalization of marijuana and continuing to support women’s rights,” he said. “If the nation demands the minority in Congress to not hold things up, you’ll also see immigration reform and the continuation of health care reform.”

“It’s historic’

Other area residents said they would watch the inauguration on television.

Maryland State Sen. Ronald N. Young, D-Frederick/Washington, said he has not attended an inauguration since Jimmy Carter took the oath of office in January 1977, but said he was looking forward to watching it.

“It’s a reaffirmation of where we need to go, and hopefully this time President Obama can be tougher and pull people together,” he said. “I’d rather stay in the warmth and watch it on television, though.”

Washington County Democratic Central Committee Chairwoman Elizabeth Paul said she planned to watch the inaugural activities on television, either by herself or at a social event.

Paul said the inauguration is important because it shows Obama’s first election was not a fluke.

“The second time around shows that the majority of people support the change he’s trying to bring and what they wanted as far as the overall direction of the country,” she said. “I think it’ll be a good show with all the people he’s invited, as well as the historical significance of it.”

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