EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 21, 2009

Windham residents: Obama mirrors Kennedy in some ways

By Emily Moffett

For Evelyn and Tom Saad, both 60 and of Windham, N.H.,, President Barack Obama's inauguration echoed that of another historic moment, the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.

Tom Saad said while Obama is the first African-American president, Kennedy was the first Catholic president.

"The last time we saw excitement of this level during a presidential inauguration, it was JFK's inauguration," he said. "There's a lot of similarities between the two, although I think Obama's inauguration is even more significant. I think the fact that they were both so young and vital contributed to the excitement."

Evelyn Saad said she is encouraged by Obama's youth. He is the fifth youngest U.S. president. She said America needs change — and people felt the same way about Kennedy.

"They're both young families, and the youth brings new life and new ideas to the office," she said.

But Obama's age isn't the only thing that likens his inauguration to Kennedy's. Both men were extremely articulate speakers, she said.

Tom Saad said even the recurrent themes of both inaugural speeches were similar.

"I hear him say things like, 'hope,' and, 'I see a future,' and I heard Kennedy saying a lot of the same things," he said. "And I think it's great. He's calling on the U.S. citizens to carry the torch, to serve their country well, just as Kennedy did. And that's exactly what has to happen."