JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local student who marched with the Boston Crusaders drum and bugle corps in the Inauguration Day parade came to the First Coast News studios on Wednesday to talk about the experience.
James Justice, a junior at Baldwin Middle-Senior High School who plays the euphonium, said traveling to Washington D.C. was his first time riding on a plane.
"It was kind of weird. Whenever they started taking off, they started turning around the track and finally they said, 'Fasten your seat belts' and then it started lifting up and it felt like a little roller coaster," he said.
Upon his arrival in Washington the Friday afternoon before the inauguration, he started practicing with other Boston Crusaders members, many of whom he did not know.
"Most of them are just alumni from previous years. It was definitely an honor to be with them," he said. "We had a 15-year-old snare drummer, which is almost unheard of. Most of them are from college."
On the day of the parade, the drum corps had to get to the staging area very early but did not march until 12 hours later, Justice said.
"We had to get there at 6:30 in the morning. We went through all the security checks and then we went to the warmup tent. Finally, they put us in line for the parade and around 6, 6 'o clock (p.m.) they said 'Boston, you're on' and then we started marching."
Finally, Justice said he saw the President up on a platform while he was marching on the ground.
"We walked by and I saw out of the corner of my eye President Obama and he was like a giant -- 7 foot tall."
Justice is thinking about colleges and said he is looking at Florida State University, University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.
First Coast News