Seeing the peaceful transition of the U.S. presidency from about 100 yards away is a memory that Robert LeMaster always will treasure.
The seventh-grader at St. Gabriel the Archangel School in south St. Louis attended the inauguration of President Donald Trump Jan. 20 with his mom, Sarah LeMaster. They earlier requested tickets from Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt's office.
Seeing former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as Barack Obama, and so many other people at Trump's inauguration was Robert's favorite part of the day. He enjoyed the Missouri connections, including New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, a former St. Louisan, who prayed from the ninth chapter of the Book of Wisdom on the steps of the West Front of the U.S. Capitol building at the inauguration. Cardinal Dolan also prayed at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
The Missouri State University Choir and the Morman Tabernacle Choir caught the attention of Robert, who also sings in a choir at school.
It's worth attending an inauguration no matter who wins the election, Robert said, noting the good example set by the outgoing and incoming presidents. "We just saw that in action, with his (Trump's) swearing in and saying good-bye to the Obamas when they took him for a tour of the White House," he said. "Obama wrote President Trump a nice little note. It was nice, very unified."
The LeMasters also attended the inaugural parade and Freedom Ball, one of three inaugural balls attended by the new president, receiving tickets from the presidential inauguration committee. The LeMasters saw journalists Anderson Cooper and Tucker Carlson and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and talked with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. The previous evening they attended the welcome celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
The mother and son got around fairly well in spite of large crowds and didn't see the protests held in Washington, D.C., in opposition to the new president.
The trip was Sarah's idea. She'd been supporting Trump since the day he announced his candidacy. She likes his pro-life position, noting that "we always back candidates that stand for pro-life.
"We thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness the peaceful transfer of power and be a part of what we feel is a real movement in our country," Sarah said. It was about "witnessing the great traditions that set our country apart and make it the strong country that it is."
The LeMasters were grateful for prayers from the Poor Clare Monastery of Mercy of Belleville, Ill., and others. They had a trip without complications — even getting the last two seats on an overbooked flight home when they were on standby. "We feel that our prayer warriors and prayer groups — people and family members who were thinking of us and praying for us — helped make our experience safe and happy," Sarah said.
Robert was quizzed about it at school and is sharing his photos. "We'll remember this forever," he said. RELATED ARTICLE(S):‘We will be protected by God,’ Trump declares in inaugural address