Missouri and Kansas residents take part in presidential inauguration festivities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As millions of people across the country followed and watched the presidential inauguration on Friday, some residents of Kansas and Missouri witnessed history up close.

Missouri State University sent 50 students, including four from the metro area, to sing at the inauguration.

The choir sat above the event's main stage and sang "Now We Belong" in front of around 250,000 people, including President Donald Trump.

"I don't think I've ever seen that many people in one place," explained Missouri State student Chandler Cooper, who is from Springfield. "It was really cool."

Cooper told 41 Action News that the choir team woke up around 6 a.m. on Friday before departing for the United States Capitol.

Despite the huge crowd watching them perform, Cooper said the team rose to the occasion.

"You would think we would be really nervous about it," he said. "We were well rehearsed. We had lots of time to practice."

Looking back on the experience on Friday, Cooper said he was glad he got the chance to perform on behalf of the Show Me State.

"It's awesome that we got to represent a place we all love and all call home," he explained.

The inaugural parade also featured at least one woman from the metro area.

Warrensburg resident Linda Ambard marched with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in honor of her husband, an Air Force veteran who died in Afghanistan in 2011.

"For me, it was sobering," she told 41 Action News. "It was an honor in his memory."

Ambard said she and her daughter-in-law marched together with other TAPS members past many Washington, D.C. landmarks.

She explained how the group marched in front of Trump while he watched the parade near the White House.

"We were in awe," said Ambard. "You see the new president there."

Ambard said marching in the presidential inauguration with TAPS on Friday was an experience she will never forget.

"It doesn't matter what our political affiliations are, we were there to honor and remember the sacrifices given by the people willing to die for the ideals of our country," she said.

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Tom Dempsey can be reached at Tom.Dempsey@KSHB.com.

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