In Columbus, Ga., business partners Travis Chambers and Karl Douglass, who run a real estate sales and management company, will be making the trip with their wives. Business engagements didnt allow Chambers to attend Obamas 2009 inauguration and he still regrets it.
The first African American president? I really wanted to be there for that, said Chambers, who is black. I was able to watch it on television, but I heard you really had to be there to witness and appreciate the moment.
While his three sons, ages 10 to 20, won be making the trip, Chambers, 41, said they realize the historical significance of the event and the role model Obama is for black youth.
This is a good example that you can be anything you want to be if you just put your mind to it, Chambers said. Dont ever say what you cant be. A lot of African Americans have made great accomplishments throughout our history and this is just one big one that we can all celebrate.
Douglass, who was the Obama campaigns regional political director in 2008, is making his second inaugural trip.
It was history to elect the first African American president, he said. I think its equally important to say We did it on purpose. To have him re-elected confirms that people were comfortable with the decision they made the first time.
Douglass, 44, and Chambers will both attend the Georgia gala and the inauguration parade and ceremony. Douglass, who is also black, said hell also visit the National Archives Building to see the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago.