380 Delaware Firefighters made their way to Washington, DC to take part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
The Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association organized the event with the Presidential Inauguration Committee to allow Delaware Firefighters to march in the Inauguration Parade the Citizens' Hose Company Band provided the theme song during the march.
The morning started out on -10- travel buses that met in different parts of the state to pick up the firefighters & lady auxiliary members. Once everyone was picked up and the buses met the day begin at the Pentagon where all buses, persons, and personal belongings went through security clearance and all members of the marching unit received their Secret Service Clearance ID.
After leaving the Pentagon all buses were guided into Washington, DC by police and military escorts through the streets of DC that were closed and only open to escorted vehicles. Firefighters were unloaded at the Ellipse, located just across the lawn from the White House. All units were staged here in heat warming tents where we were able to watch the Inauguration on TV screens.
Once the Inauguration was over, President George W. Bush flew over the Ellipse in the Military Helicopter taking him to from the Capitol to Andrews Air Force Base. The Bush family, including former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, took a flight to Midland, Texas, riding one last time on blue-and-white presidential aircraft. It was called Special Air Mission 28000 instead of Air Force One, the designation used only by the president.
After President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their familes had lunch it was time for the Parade to begin. Once they were in the viewing stand, we began the march in the 28 degree weather, with 10 mph winds.
Firefighters from Delaware, accompanied by one fire engine from each county marched 10 feet in from of the President of the United States of America Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their families. This experience was one of the best and truly something to be proud of.
Story By: Ryan Whittington