Burr Ridge residents attend inaugural
Burr Ridge residents and Hinsdale South graduates Molly Hogan and Akvile Zakarauskaite attended the official George Washington Inaugural Ball on Monday. | Photo courtesy of Molly Hogan.
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:19AM
BURR RIDGE — In November Molly Hogan cast her first vote for president.
Two months later, the Burr Ridge resident attended that president’s inauguration.
“It was probably the highlight of my year so far,” said Hogan, a Hinsdale South graduate and freshman at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
While some classmates camped out overnight for the chance to see Barack Obama start his second term as president, Hogan and fellow South graduate Akvile Zakarauskaite of Burr Ridge were fortunate to have reserved seats, courtesy of Rep. Bill Foster’s office.
“We were there for the ceremony and the swearing in,” said Hogan, who found the president’s speech encouraging.
She was particularly encouraged by his vocal support of equal rights for women, immigrants and the gay community.
“It’s a big first step,” the political communication major said.
Festivities continued throughout the afternoon, but Hogan and Zakarauskaite headed back for a quick nap before donning their gowns and heels for the official George Washington Inaugural Ball.
“Akvile worked on Obama’s campaign,” said Hogan, who was fortunate to be her friend’s guest.
Determined to be a part of the inauguration in one way or another, Zakarauskaite already had made plans to visit Hogan when she received word of the invitation to attend.
“It was a surprise,” Zakarauskaite said.
For Zakarauskaite, the highlight of the experience was the chance to see the president and first lady, as well as the vice president and his wife, perform their first dances at the ball.
“Those moments are things you don’t see often in politics,” she said.
The night also included performances by Fun, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder.
Wonder performed for almost an hour.
“That was pretty cool,” Hogan said.
“It was a great experience. It’s something I was happy to be a part of,” said Zakarauskaite, a political science and international relations major at Rhodes College in Memphis.
While these young citizens can’t expect to attend the inaugurations of every president they cast a ballot for, they never will forget who got their first vote.