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January 19, 2013

Gloucester's Duff, others bound for inaugural

Duff, other area residents D.C-bound

For Gloucester resident Eileen Duff, inaugurations are nothing new.

Duff, elected this past November as a new member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council, was a college student at Trinity Washington University when President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for his first term in 1981, and she attended the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1997 while working in Washington for the Federal Communications Commission.

Still, Duff, a Democrat, is headed to D.C. this weekend to see President Obama sworn in Monday for his second term, and “I’m absolutely thrilled to be going,” she said.

“The swearing-in ceremony commemorates such an important historic event,” said Congressman John Tierney of Salem, who secured tickets for many on the North Shore. “... The fact that it shares the day with remembrances of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes it an especially significant time.”

North Shore Community College President Wayne Burton also has tickets to attend the 57th Presidential Inaugural ceremonies, only this time, he hopes he doesn’t get stuck in the “Purple Tunnel of Doom” as he did four years ago.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll confirmed Friday that she is in D.C. for the inauguration with her 12-year-old daughter, Ailish, a seventh-grader at Saltonstall School.

“We are having a terrific time,” Driscoll said in an email. “D.C. is in full inaugural swing with red,white and blue bunting everywhere you look. We toured the U.S. Capitol Building today and the place was abuzz with activity. Lots of excited folks — young and old — taking in the preparations. We heard the practice run of the ceremony earlier today.”

In addition to the inaugural address, the audience on Monday will be treated to performances by folk-rock legend James Taylor, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, “American Idol” winner and pop star Kelly Clarkson, and Beyonce, who will belt out the national anthem.

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