Pittsburgh families gather at Children's Museum to watch inauguration
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The words traveled from the steps of the U.S. Capitol this morning to the North Side.
"This is a moment when millions stop and watch," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R.-Tenn., in a short televised speech on Inauguration Day.
In the basement theater of the Children's Museum, "stop and watch" may have been overstating it. A baby crawled. Older kids squirmed in their seats. Children whispered to their parents and bounced around the floor and looked around at what other kids were doing.
Some of them may not remember it tomorrow, or next year, or 20 years from now, but this morning a few children, along with their parents and museum staff, witnessed President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden take their oaths of office in front of large crowds in Washington, D.C.
The Leong children -- ages 9, 7 and 3 -- were among the inauguration watchers.
"I wanted them to recognize how significant this process is, and to appreciate that as citizens," said their mother, Judy Chang, 43, Squirrel Hill, who was joined by her father-in-law, Hong Leong, 73 and also of Squirrel Hill.
The crowds in Washington, D.C., were a little bigger four years ago, when Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were first sworn in. The same was true at the Children's Museum, which hosted 75 people at its first inauguration watch in 2009, marketing director Bill Schlageter said. This year, about 30 people watched the festivities from the museum's theater.
"This is history, and for some of these families, this might be the first time that they've seen an inauguration," said Taylor Garcia, program coordinator for the museum.
For the Rodrigues family of Lawrenceville, it was the first time watching an inauguration ceremony at a public event.
Paul and Angel Rodrigues talk about politics and current events with their children at home. But for this inauguration, they decided to bring their children -- 7-year-old Ian, 5-year-old twins Hunter and Sage and 3-year-old Chloe -- to the museum to help them realize that what they were seeing was an important milestone in American history.
"You have to stop them and say, 'this is significant,'" Mr. Rodrigues said.
It's too soon to tell, he said, if any of his children have political aspirations.
His son, Ian, had an answer when asked instead what he thought it would be like to live in the White House like Malia and Sasha, the Obama children.
"Probably cool," he said.
First Published January 21, 2013 3:49 pm