President Obama's inauguration in 2009. / Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
President Obama spoke Friday with eight "citizen co-chairs" of his second inaugural, each with a story that reflects a different aspect of his first term.
The co-chairs are people who have been involved in Obama efforts on health care, education assistance, energy developments, ending the military's ban on gays, and winding down the war in Afghanistan.
"As we get ready to kick off the Inaugural weekend, it is an honor to welcome these eight remarkable Americans to the White House," Obama said in a statement after the Oval Office meeting.
"Each of them remind me not only how much we have accomplished," he said, "but also how much we have left to do over the coming four years."
The Presidential Inaugural Committee says "each co-chair will play an important role in the inaugural ceremonies. On Saturday, January 19, they will join Americans in all 50 states and participate in the National Day of Service. On Inauguration Day, the co-chairs will take part in the Inaugural Parade, riding on the 'Our People, Our Future' float, and attend the Inaugural Ball."
The list of co-chairs, as provided by the committee:
Ida Edwards, Virginia
Ida Edwards is a retired nurse and advocate of President Obama's health care reform. As someone who lived through the civil rights movement in Virginia, she seeks to remind those around her about both how far we have come and the work we have left to do. Her and her husband, who both worked from high school through retirement, live in Petersburg, Va.
Erica Chain, California
At 27 years old, Erica was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. She applied to every health insurance provider she could think of, but was denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Thanks to the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan under the Affordable Care Act, Erica was able to get access to treatment. Due to PCIP, Erica was able to get the surgery she needed in order to stay alive and the rehab to reach a full recovery. Erica works at Rock Health and Silicon Valley Bank-Analytics to support the digital health and venture eco-system and resides in San Francisco.
Lily Griego, Colorado
Lily is a single mother working two jobs. Thanks to Pell Grants, financial aid, and Lily's hard work, her son has been able to attend college.
Kenyetta Jones, Ohio
Kenyetta is a 27-year veteran at the General Motors Powertrain Plant in Toledo, Ohio, and is a mother of two college-aged daughters. Kenyetta was laid off for 13 months during the economic downturn in 2009, but she never gave up hope that she would get back to work. After a year without full-time employment, Kenyetta was notified that she would be returning to work because of the president's intervention to rescue the auto industry.
Liz McCartney, Louisiana
Liz McCartney is the co-founder of the St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide disaster-impacted communities with a prompt, efficient and predictable path to recovery. Liz and her husband launched SBP, initially a post Katrina home rebuilding program, when they moved from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans in 2006. SPB has rebuilt hundreds of homes in New Orleans and in Joplin, Missouri through its affiliate Rebuild Joplin. SBP has recruited over 70,000 volunteers and AmeriCorps members since inception to support its efforts. SBP is also working closely with stakeholders in New York and New Jersey to help rebuild communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy. SBP's co-founders have received numerous awards and recognition for their work. In 2008, Liz was awarded the Hero of the Year award by CNN Heroes. In 2011, she was recognized as a White House Champion of Change.
Rob Hach, Iowa
Rob and his wife Tara started Anemometry Specialists, a small business, 10 years ago in the renewable energy field in Alta, Iowa. Rob has been involved in the wind energy business since 1994, learning the ropes from some of the early pioneers of the wind energy industry. Rob has grown his business over this past decade and now has 31 employees. Anemometry Specialists was named the Iowa Small Business of the Year in 2010.
David Hall, Washington, D.C.
Following in the footsteps of his father and stepfather, David joined the Air Force in March 1996. He was promoted to staff sergeant and graduated as a distinguished graduate from Airman Leadership School. After re-enlisting for another four years, he applied for Air Force ROTC and was selected under the Professional Officer Course - Early Release Program. He was excited to receive a pilot slot but was dis-enrolled for "homosexual conduct" in August 2002 after a fellow cadet told his commanders that he is gay. Following the Air Force, David worked on the successful repeal of DADT through Out Serve - SLDN.
Petty Officer Second Class Taylor Morris, Iowa
Petty Officer Second Class Taylor Morris of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is currently assigned to the Navy Safe Harbor Wounded Warrior Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. While assigned to Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 12 based out of Joint Base Charleston, Charleston, S.C., Morris was injured by an IED blast during his first deployment to Afghanistan. His injuries resulted in the amputation of both of his legs, his left arm and his right hand. Petty Officer Morris is the recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
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