By Arnold Wyrick
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The National Mall in Washington D.C. wasn't the only area where crowds gathered on Tuesday to watch the 44th President of the United States take the oath of office. Hundreds tuned in on the big screen television at the SIU Student Center's Ballroom B.
For many of those who watched history unfold before their eyes, it was the next best thing to being there on Capital Hill.
"It's history in the making," said SIU student Iesha Wilson. "I think anybody who is able to witness this historic event will know that this is a proud day in our nation. And not just for African-American history, not just in political history, this is everyone's day today."
She and several of her classmates along with faculty from the university stood, cheered and applauded during President Barack Obama's inaugural address.
"This is going to change things in so many ways," said SIU student Brittany McElroy. "I'm just anxious to see what he's going to do. And the things he's going to put into place to make the changes America needs."
As President Obama spoke of the trials and troubles ahead for Americans, he also gave people the hope and optimism that they can bring about a change in our nation and around the world.
"I feel like in the next four years we will accomplish a lot as far as American citizens," said SIU student Marcus Wilson. "We will grow so much , we can all become united. And I feel like this will mark history. And it will make my college career successful, and encourage me to go out and succeed."