MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - When Barack Obama is sworn-in as President on January 21st, history will be made and repeated. So will a bus trip from Memphis to witness the event.
Several hundred Mid-Southerners will travel to the nation's capital, as they did four years ago. Regina Ofei organized the 2009 bus trip to Washington for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and high demand dictated a return.
"People saying, 'Are you doing the trip again?' and I really wasn't planning on doing it again, but the calls kept coming," said Ofei.
Kiva Akoto, the event's co-organizer, added, "We are just so excited about seeing President Obama back in office one more time."
Four buses and 200 people will depart from Cornernear Baptist Church on January 19th. Many making the trip gathered there Saturday to prepare for the trip. For some, it's their second time around.
"The first time I was really excited because just the idea of our country making that kind of history, I wanted to be a part of it," said Toni Wade. "But this time I was committed and I worked hard on the campaign to make sure President Obama remained our president."
On that front, mission accomplished. Now, just like four years ago, the reward is just being there.
Ofei said of the last Inauguaration, "Oh, it was electric; it was fantastic."
Wade agreed. "You just felt the warmth from inside - it was a really amazing time."
Everybody making the trip to D.C. this year has ideas on what it means.
"It means that I'm part of history," Ofei said, "It means that I'm part of something that everybody said would never happen."
For some, the rationale for going is simpler. 13-year-old Jessica Davis said she's going "because I want to see the president."
Yet others, like Wade, are thinking longer term. "It's something I will always remember and carry with me and share with my children and grandchildren."
That is, if they can withstand the rigors of the trip.
Akoto admits, "It's a long bus ride, but it will be well worth it."
The buses roll for D.C. on January 19th and return to Memphis on January 22nd. There are still seats available - call (901) 299-1220 for more information.