For thirty years, the Close Up Foundation has welcomed high school students from across the United States for weeklong government studies and civic experiences. From January 14-21, Close Up is hosting 4,200 students and 450 educators for a special Inauguration program. Various students will be sharing their Inauguration thoughts and experiences during this month.
2001: Preparing To Visit
After this year's dramatic election, I cannot think of any better place to be than Washington, D.C. As a student and a Texan, I am not only traveling to Washington, D.C. to see the inauguration of my former governor, but I am going to our famed capital to witness the conclusion to one of the most hotly contested elections of our nation's history.
Although I believe George W. Bush lawfully and unambiguously won the presidency, I am extremely interested to see how the nation will accept a man who narrowly received a mandate from the people. However, I have no doubt that on January 20 the U.S. Capitol steps will be an exciting place, and I will join the nation in seeing first hand whether George W. Bush will be the man we have elected him to be. As a citizen who just turned 18, it was not only a privilege but also very exciting to cast my first vote in an election like this! Since entering grade school, my teachers have continually preached that our Constitution is one of the greatest governing documents in history.
As a good American I believed them, but it is not until now that I have truly understood what they meant. While some nations transfer the reins of power through riots and even violence, our Constitution's integrity has recently been tried before our country. Therefore, the 2001 Inaugural has a special meaning to me because it shows that our nation's fundamental document can and will triumph in the face of adversity.
Also, as a student soon going off to college, I believe that this inauguration has certain significance to my peers and myself. For example, since I just turned 18, I promptly signed up for the Selective Service system that registers me for the draft. It is therefore of great concern to me what President-elect Bush will say in his inaugural speech concerning his foreign policy. His decisions could determine whether I go off to war. Additionally, my parents, like many of my peers' parents, have invested part of my college savings and other savings into the stock market. With our economy becoming more and more unstable, it is also of great concern to see how George Bush will address the situation.
I am eager to hear President-elect Bush's strategy for our economy's future. His course of action will likely have a direct effect on the money I will have saved for college. I am not only excited about going to Washington, D.C. to witness the inauguration of a president, I am interested to see how the man our nation has elected will handle some of the national problems which will directly affect me. Will I have to go to war in the future? Will the economy still be strong when I graduate from college and need a job? I'm sure my questions and those of my country will be answered January 20 on the steps of our U.S. Capitol.
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