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'I was there in spirit'

Vancouverites eager to participate in what many said was the most historic moment they’ve lived through crowded into the Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive yesterday to watch U.S. President Barack Obama get sworn-in.

Vancouverites eager to participate in what many said was the most historic moment they’ve lived through crowded into the Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive yesterday to watch U.S. President Barack Obama get sworn-in.

The crowd jumped to their feet in applause at the culmination of the live broadcast, some people wiping away tears.

Lincoln Thorne said he wanted to watch the ceremony on the big screen because it was a moment to be shared with others.

“The point is to come together, bringing a country (and people) together for a moment in history.”

Thorne said he felt a part of the historic moment by virtue of witnessing it live with his community.

“I was there in spirit,” he said. “We should all feel proud we were alive to see this day, especially people of colour.”

Lennox Bastien, an American-born Vancouverite, said he could “feel the crowd’s emotion and reactions” as they listened to Obama’s speech, which he said gave him goose bumps.

“I don’t think he came to save us, he came to inspire us and bring us together … I’m so inspired, I might even run for prime minister.”

Bastien said he thought of his late father and brother throughout the broadcast.

“I never thought I’d live to see this day myself. I could feel (my father and brother’s) spirit and I know they’re revelling in this moment, too.”

 
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