While most Americans spent the week watching the presidential inauguration on TV, 1992 Hanceville High graduate David Hall had a much better view of the festivities — most notably the Oval Office.
Hall, who now lives in Washington, D.C., works for a non-profit fighting against LGBT discrimination in the armed forces. Hall was “outed” while serving in the Air Force as being gay under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and has devoted his professional life to battling discrimination.
When President Barack Obama was assembling his eight-person citizens’ inauguration committee, Hall’s work in the non-profit sector caught the commander-in-chief’s attention and got him on the list.
“They were looking at people that had worked on issues the president accomplished during his first term,” Hall said. “I’m very honored to be selected as one of the eight people. To know we had a part of moving the country forward and seeing the president reelected was pretty awesome.”
On a week filled with highlights, from the inaugural ball to the inauguration itself, Hall said his trip to the oval office with President Obama is a moment he’ll never forget.
“He thanked us for being citizen co-chairs and had a message to us as the people who elected him to be president, but he said it represents the people back in all the towns, cities and states who helped him accomplish those goals he’d set forth,” he said. “He said we’re representing those people who helped him accomplish those goals and he’d need everyone’s help in his second term.”
Though he made the interview circuit around news networks such as MSNBC to talk about the issues and his experience, Hall’s claim to fame from the trip owes more to First Lady Michelle Obama’s new haircut than anything else. A photo from Hall’s meeting with Ms. Obama went viral, as it was one of the first shots to show off the First Lady’s new bangs.
“That photo seems to have gone everywhere,” Hall laughed. “But it really was a great meeting and the chairs of the committee all had a chance to meet and speak with her.”
Hall has spent the last several years living and working in D.C., but said there’s still something awe-inspiring about looking out over a crowd of nearly one million people assembled to watch the president take office.
“There have just been so many great people I’ve met throughout my time in D.C., as well as during the campaigns, so it’s very patriotic to get to attend the inauguration,” he said. “The other seven co-chairs are some very distinguished people and I was honored to get the chance to hang out with them and talk to them about the things they’ve done. It was a tiring weekend, but it was amazing.”
* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.