Local serves as post supervisor for today’s parade

Published 10:01 pm Monday, January 19, 2009

WASHINGTON – When President Obama takes the constitutional oath of office in front of what is expected to be one of the largest crowds ever, the son of a Maplesville couple will be smiling.

For Army Staff Sgt. Desmond T. Agee, son of General L. and Bobbie A. Agee of Maplesville, weeks of training and coordination, along with many early morning and late night rehearsals in rainy, frigid weather, has paid off in helping to make this historical inauguration a huge success.

This inauguration will mark the 56th time the U.S. military has helped welcome the incoming commander in chief. Agee is one of more than 700 members supporting the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, a joint-service organization formed to coordinate all military participation and support for the 10-day period of Inaugural events.

“I will serve as the command post supervisor for the parade and other events,” said Agee, a 1998 graduate of Maplesville High School.

Whether performing as a member of the color guard, as a driver, street security, usher or escort for distinguished visitors, participating in marching bands, or salute batteries, to working behind the scenes as contingency support personnel, Agee, and the others undergo intensive training and preparation for the ceremonial support that they will provide.

“We had to undergo security training and informational briefings on the sequence of events of the Inauguration celebration,” Agee said.

The Inaugural theme, “A New Birth of Freedom,” taken from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, is especially fitting as the country prepares to inaugurate the first African-American as the 44th president of the United States. For Agee, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I am joyful that I have a chance to contribute to bring the first African-American president into office,” Agee said.

“It is a very special moment in my life and the lives of my family and friends.”