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100 Days, 100 Voices

Postcards from Appalachians at the inauguration

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For many, President Donald Trump’s Inauguration was a moment of celebration. For others, the event was a study in civics or a day of protest. We went to the National Mall to find Appalachians on this historic day.

Moses Greenberg, 43, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, brought his wife and four children to the Inaugural events to commemorate, as this accountant sees it, it’s a tremendous opportunity to be a part of a positive revolution.

Greenberg: We are seeing a radical change in the U.S. government. Everything moves at a glacier’s pace in Congress and Trump makes bold, sweeping moves.

I’m excited to see, with the support that he has in Congress, how much he can do. I’m just super excited about the future and I wanted my kids to be part of it.

I would love to see Trump undo every one of Obama’s executive orders and I would love to see the repeal of Obamacare and see a wonderful replacement. I like the idea of universal healthcare. We should definitely have a healthcare safety net where nobody falls through the cracks and everyone has basic healthcare needs met.

I would love to see who he is going to appoint as his Supreme Court Justice nominee.

Trump is a departure from the way things have happened in the past, and I think America, even those that might not currently be behind him –they’re going to be very pleasantly surprised. They’re really going to say this is a man I can trust and I’m grateful to call him a president.

Cassy Hyer, 13 and Sabrina Carrillo, 13–eighth graders from Eastbrook Middle School in Whitfield County, Georgia, both hope to be president one day, so it was fitting to find them at the Mall for Trump’s Inauguration.

The two wrote essays to earn a spot in the one-week program with the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement sponsored by the YMCA of Georgia. Cassy and Sabrina both said they would have voted for Donald Trump if they had been old enough.

Hyer: It was really cool. That’s all I can think of. The issue of abortion, I like discussing that with other people, ‘cause I’m against it and everything like that. I just really like talking to people about that because there are so many different ways that they see it as a right or anything and stuff like that.

Carrillo: I would always debate with my teacher, Mr. Scroggs, about Trump and Clinton. And that’s just how it developed. I love politics and I hope to one day become the president of the USA. I feel like that would be a very good thing to do. First-off I got to see Trump swore in. And then second-off, last night, walking through D.C. was like crazy–all the people protesting.

William Yates, 55, and Danny Dalton, 62, traveled from Pulaski County, in southwest Virginia to see a presidential inauguration for the first time. Dalton is a retired operating room surgical technician and emergency services technician. Yates, also retired, is a former supplier quality engineer in the aerospace industry.

Yates: I’m from Appalachia. I even write it in on ‘other,’ when they ask for nationality. I say ‘Other: Appalachia.’ My family is from Appalachia, and that’s all I really care about. To me, Appalachia, it’s kind of the hidden secret of America. Most people don’t really know what that even means when you say you’re from Appalachia.

For the first time I feel a little hope. I know Donald Trump is not the perfect president. But he believes in the things I believe. I don’t believe in abortion. I believe in secure borders.

I think if we can get business back in America, we can start building things again and people will be proud of who they are. I think for the first time there’s a lot of people today that don’t feel ashamed to say they love their guns and their Bibles.

This is not about race. I don’t really care what color you are. I don’t really care where you’re from as long as you came here legally, as long as you’re willing to pull your own weight, do what needs to be done, and that’s all I care about.

Dalton: I’d like to see the country turn around and I’d like to see citizens taken better care of, see us get some better insurance — with not such high premiums.


In ‘100 Days, 100 Voices’ Nancy Andrews presents photographs depicting the diversity of voices across Appalachia. These portraits strive to show the varied faces, passions, issues and opinions from around the region. Interviews have been edited for brevity and clarity. If you have an idea for ‘100 Days, 100 Voices’ please contact Nancy Andrews on Twitter @NancyAndrews or email at nancy.andrews [at] mail.wvu.edu.