Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Amongst the hundreds of thousands of people in Washington DC watching the Inauguration, dozens of Western New Yorkers traveled to be a part of this rare moment in history.
In the sea of people, 56 students and faculty members from Buffalo State College, who drove overnight to be a part of history and watch President Barack Obama take his oath of office.
Muahmmed Sumbundu, a student at Buffalo State College, told Eyewitness News "There was so much excitement in the air. People were just talking to each other, it was just a change."
Nearly 40 Burgard High School students also made the trip. They woke up at four in the morning to get their spot and watch the special moment.
An 11th grader, Sarah Brown said they "were tired because it was a lot of walking - but once we got there, we really enjoyed it. We were really excited that we were able to witness it."
Watch parties also took place in Western New York.
On Martin Luther King Junior's birthday, an emotional moment for many at Saint Philip's Episcopal Church. Many in attendance never thought they would see an African American serve as President -- let alone for a second term.
Pastor Patrick Cray, who organized the watch party, said he was moved by the speech and President's references to Dr. King.9
"We should take forth that same lesson, and move forward," Pastor Cray said. "I think our President wants to crossover."
Erie County democrats also gathered at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center -- even taking pictures with cutouts of the President and First Lady.
Janice Dunne said, "it was very uplifting and he gave us the impression of what he wants to do for the future and what's good for the country."
Western New York was also represented in Washington DC during the festivities.
A painting of Niagara Falls was handpicked by Senator Chuck Schumer for the Inaugural Luncheon.