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‘I Was There’: California RN Secures Place in History

For one California nurse, the journey is as important as the destination.

Connie Kerins, RN, boarded a charter bus at midnight Thursday to attend Tuesday’s inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

The San Leandro, Calif., nurse read about the trip in the San Francisco Chronicle and considers herself lucky enough to be one of its 50 attendants. She is the only RN to take part in this particular journey, organized by Oakland, Calif., barbecue restaurant Everett & Jones.

Connie Kerins, RN, says, “This election and this president has given us hope, and that is why I want to be at the inauguration.”

On disability leave from her position as an ambulatory clinic nurse, Kerins says, “I am extremely disillusioned with the healthcare system. This election and this president has given us all hope, and that is why I want to be there at the inauguration.”

While browsing on Obama’s online inauguration store, Kerins was attracted to a button that said, “I was there.” She thought to herself, “I don’t want a button that says I was there if I wasn’t there. I want to be there.”

The trip costs $700, which includes the bus ride plus three nights at the Harrisburg, Pa., Hilton Hotel. The bus will ferry the group to public transportation in the Washington, D.C., area.

The group plans to arrive in time to celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Monday. Impending first lady Michelle Obama has suggested all Americans volunteer on that day. Kerins will assemble care packages for troops in Iraq.

The bus trip left at midnight Thursday.

Because only one person on Kerins’ bus has a ticket to the inauguration, other participants say they are not sure they will be able to see the parade or even get to The National Mall. “The people I share this journey with will make memories for a lifetime,” Kerins says.

Also on the bus will be two high school students who are making a documentary film about the trip.

“There are so many reasons not to go, but all of those will be forgotten,” Kerins says. “This will be the adventure of a lifetime. I can’t wait to get on the bus.”

By | 2020-04-15T15:10:42-04:00 January 16th, 2009|Categories: National|0 Comments

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