Punahou School students expressed how honored and humbled they are to be marching in the presidential inaugural parade, as they departed for the nation’s capital on Jan. 16, 2013.
“We are so happy to represent President Obama’s alma mater and the entire state of Hawai‘i in the parade. This is a historic opportunity and we’re really looking forward to the entire experience,” Christopher ’13, a drum major, said after the final on-campus rehearsal earlier this week.
The Buff ’n Blue contingent — which includes 119 members of the marching band, 20 ROTC cadets and 10 varsity cheerleaders — will have time to rehearse in the cold weather and visit the capital’s historic sites and museums before the big event: the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following President Barack Obama’s ’79 public swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
Punahou also participated in Obama’s first inauguration parade in 2009, but as Christopher noted, those band members, cheerleaders and JROTC cadets have all since graduated. “This is a unique opportunity for all of us students, and it’s even more special because the president went to our school.”
Obama famously flashed a shaka to the Punahou contingent in 2009, and students are hoping for a similar display this year. But most all, they are focused on doing their best.
“We’ve practiced a lot and feel ready,” said band member Kisa ’13. “We’re all very inspired to do our best.”