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Ex-pat Americans find it tough to be away for inauguration

Watching Barack Obama’s inauguration on TV will be a little hard to swallow for some Americans living in Halifax.

Watching Barack Obama’s inauguration on TV will be a little hard to swallow for some Americans living in Halifax.

Ryan Kerney, originally from New Jersey, said it will be tough being away from home during such an historic event in the United States.

“I have a lot of friends in (Washington) D.C. and I’ll be calling them up,” he said. “From what I’ve heard from them, it’s been an amazing experience.”

The biology researcher at Dalhousie University said he and his wife briefly considered heading to Washington to be a part of Inauguration Day, but it’s just too far.

“I think it can’t be over emphasized how big this is for the United States.”

He said for the past eight years the global perception of his homeland has been “awful” and Barack Obama’s presidency shines a new, positive light on it.

“It shows people in the U.S. are capable of electing an African-American President, which people didn’t think would happen even a couple years ago,” Kerney said.

In many ways the weight of the world is on Obama’s shoulders and Kerney said it will be difficult for Obama to live up to it.

“One asset he’ll have is wider public support for fixing things like the economy and, from a scientific point of view, the climate,” Kerney said. “There’s definitely a lot of excitement.”

Jennifer Devitt, originally from Colorado, said the inauguration won’t be as emotional for her as hearing the election results in November, but it’s still an important event she’ll watch over the Internet this morning.

“When I heard the election results ... I had tears running down my face,” said Devitt, who has lived in Halifax for eight months. “It’s hard to be here when momentous things are happening there.”

She said she’ll still be excited to see Obama sworn in, but it won’t be as suspenseful as the election.

 
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