Faces in the Crowd
A recurring feature introducing people who plan to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Name: Sabrina Russo
Residence: Living in London since 2005; born in Raleigh, N.C.; also lived in Europe.
Profession: Public relations consultant at London-based corporate communications firm.
Getting to Washington: She and her boyfriend will fly on British Airways direct from Heathrow to Dulles. Tickets cost $430 apiece.
D.C. Accommodations: Staying five nights with friends in the District.
Reason for Attending: Russo's father is Italian and her mother is of Colombian descent. She says: "As an American with a fairly 'multilayered' identity, I have sometimes found it difficult to connect with the country in which I was born. Having grown up in secular Europe, able to observe the U.S. from a distance, I felt uncomfortable with many of our foreign policy decisions during the Bush administration and felt alienated ideologically by the country's religious conservatism."
But, she said, "Obama's multi-ethnic, multi-cultural heritage was something I could relate to, as well as his more moderate politics. I followed the election coverage closely and on election night was impressed and excited by the increased voter turnout. Thanks to Obama, so many people who would normally have felt disengaged, disenfranchised or disillusioned by the political process had been galvanized -- it was powerful and moving. For me, America is about optimism, and I genuinely felt really proud to be American for the first time in a while. When I was offered the opportunity to come visit a good friend during the inauguration, I couldn't turn it down. It's historic."
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