Mr. Singleton goes to Washington

to be a part of history ...

By Heather R. Breaux
February 19, 2009 at 9:07 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

LOUISIANA ICON. Ama’s Glenn Singleton traveled to presidential inauguration with Ruby Bridges. They are 
pictured with the grandchildren of U.S. Marshals Director 
Louis McKinney.
LOUISIANA ICON. Ama’s Glenn Singleton traveled to presidential inauguration with Ruby Bridges. They are pictured with the grandchildren of U.S. Marshals Director Louis McKinney.
The presidential inauguration of Barack Obama will be a day that Ama’s Glenn Singleton will never forget.

As a guest of the iconic Ruby Bridges, Singleton embarked to Washington D.C. to stand with the masses that filled the capitol mall to watch the new president take his oath and become the first African-American to hold the office.

“When Ruby first called me, I was excited and in awe,” said Singleton. “I was overwhelmed. It was so special to be invited. She could have invited others, but for me to be a part of history was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Along with Bridges and Singleton, Peter Jederman also trekked to the nation’s capitol for the first time.

Jederman, who is the CEO of Medallic Mint in Canada, is known locally for his stunning design of the Don Raymond medallion and as a close friend of Singleton.

“Glenn and I had the great fortune to meet and be invited as house guests of the Director of the U.S. Marshals, Louis T. McKinney,” said Jederman. “Louis has known Ruby for sometime and it was an honor for him to open up his home to us.”

McKinney gave the trio a red-carpet tour of the historic Annapolis and the Annapolis Military Academy where they were able to watch cadets performing daily duties on military training ships.

“There was lots of action everywhere,” added Jederman. “But downtown Washington, D.C. was the center of it all.”

In a city lockdown, Jederman and Singleton witnessed first hand what it takes to protect both the president and his citizens.

“We saw flatbed trucks arriving non-stop with cement barricades and cranes, and heard a constant stream of police sirens from cars and motorcycles escorting limousines and bus loads of police officers,” Jederman said. “I had never witnessed a complete lockdown before and it was all very exciting.”

In between sight seeing, the pair was also able to join Bridges at her book signing at the inaugural fair.

“I was asked to photograph Ruby’s book signing,” said Jederman. “And when Glenn and I arrived we were greeted by a line of people all ages and colors, waiting for her autograph.”

Bridges, who was originally scheduled for only two hours at the fair, graciously stayed for five. After all, her appearance on Good Morning America created a buzz about her new book, “Through My Eyes.”

“Ruby signed thousands of books and took thousands of pictures with patrons,” said Jederman. “Even outside the high-security inauguration headquarters she did not say no to U.S. service personnel, men and women, who wanted their pictures taken with her.”

And Singleton agrees.

“It was amazing to see so many kids and adults happy to meet Ruby,” he added.

After one inauguration ball and parade later, the three prepared for their trip home.

“It was a roller coaster ride,” said Singleton. “So much history was made during our visit. And it really did bring people together of all nationalities together as one united nation.”

Trip highlights for the group included the Mardi Gras-like parades, the inaugural balls and simply witnessing the Obama’s oath.

“Being there with all the people, I couldn’t help feeling full,” continued Singleton. “I wish that my dad and others who are deceased could have witnessed this historical moment.

“As as black man, I never though that it would happen. President Obama shows to the world that if you stride to be best you can be, no one can stop you.

“God put the right person in the right place for people to judge him by character and not by the color of his skin. And it took all the people in the United States to choose Obama.”

Singleton was also served a little Louisiana-style lagniappe while in Washington, D.C. - he was interviewed by C-SPAN.

“I met the reporter who interviewed Ruby and we got to talking,” he said. “She asked about my background and I told her about my Don Raymond documentary. It was a great opportunity.”




View other articles written By Heather R. Breaux

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