HLN has been following the journey of the Letcher County Central High School Marching Band and JROTC Honor Guard. The LCCHS band is from Whitesburg, Kentucky, a coal mining town hit hard by the economy. After receiving an invitation to perform at the inauguration, the students, parents and community of Letcher County came together to raise a staggering $70,000 in a matter of weeks to send the performers to Washington, D.C.
Today is the day! After months of practice, and weeks of feverish fundraising, the LCCHS Marching Band is making its mark on Washington, D.C. By luck of the draw, they are performing fourth-from-last at the Inaugural Parade. It's taken a lot of work to get there, but the LCCHS band members are excited. They got to meet Ashley Judd, a Kentucky native, at the Bluegrass Ball, and they've toured around D.C. It looks like the weather has served them well -- clear skies for sightseeing, and a beautiful backdrop for the inauguration festivities.
Brittany Whitaker, an 11th grader at LCCHS, shared her thoughts on this momentous occasion. She has been in the Letcher County band program for seven years, plays flute and sometimes piccolo, and is a section leader in the marching band:
"Since I've been in the Letcher County Band, I've had a lot of awesome experiences with the band, but never something as life-changing as playing for the president of the United States. This has been an experience I'm really happy to have been able to share with my band family. We've had a long hard journey over the last three weeks and this is what we've worked for, a chance to play in the Inauguration. It really is so surreal that we're finally here! Washington, D.C., has been everything I've dreamed of and then some! We've been everywhere from the National Mall to see the monuments and memorials to the Smithsonian Museums. I've loved every minute of it and will remember it for the rest of my life."
Check out a few pictures of their journey. From the looks of it, Monday is the perfect day for an American dream.