Historic Civics lesson comes to life in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Their faces were filled with wonder.

"There was a lot of people there," Kayla Buckley commented with amazement.

Their minds were filled with questions.

"It was a little odd about the cannons. I'm wondering how they're firing. Where are the shells going?" Gabriel Porter asked.

On Tuesday, the Social Studies students at Long Beach Middle School witnessed their first presidential inauguration. They watched live coverage of Barack Obama, as he took the oath of office.

"I think it's important to see and experience what we will be doing when we grow up," said Kayla.

"He's going to be a great president," said Davonta Battle. "Because he like taking people out of Iraq, like stopping people killing people and all that."

The live civics lesson makes government seem more meaningful.

"I hope that they'll support their president and learn about the change, and see that  it's possible for anybody to do this," said History teacher Mary Rushing.

The students were hundreds of miles away from the inaugural action in Washington DC. But they still felt the spirit and significance of the history-making day.

"I'll remember there's a black, an African-American president, and he really impressed a lot of people," said Kayla.

"The people there, and to see everybody that loved him," said Ethan Sawyer.

"Because it's a very historical event and it's the first African-American to ever become president," said Gabriel. "And no matter what color or race you are, that just says you can be president."

To remember inauguration day, some students wrote in their journals, answering the question "How do you feel about our new president?" Some classes will continue discussing the inauguration the rest of the week.