It’s tough to make a moment like the inauguration of Barack Obama any more memorable, but Kit Crawford found a way.
Moments after the incoming commander in chief put his hand on Lincoln’s Bible and vowed to serve and protect the United States of America, Crawford got down on one knee, in the middle of the crowd of thousands on the National Mall, and made his own promise — to love his girlfriend Megan Kilgas for the rest of their lives.
“[At first] she didn’t believe it,” Crawford said. “I was telling Megan my proposal was for real, so we were sorting all that out. There was a lot of stuff going on at the Mall.”
After Crawford finally convinced Kilgas he was serious, he slipped the ring on her finger, and people around them went wild — although that may have had something to do with President Obama beginning his inaugural address.
“It was really something else,” Kilgas said.
Crawford, 26, and Kilgas, 25, met as undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee at Martin and currently live in Virgina. Crawford, a postgraduate student of history at American University, had been thinking of proposing on Jan. 24, their seven-year anniversary.
“We’d been talking about marriage for a while, but I had no idea that he would propose there and that he had bought a ring,” said Kilgas, a project manager for a marketing company.
“It dawned on me that I had a unique opportunity since we were going to the inauguration,” Crawford explained. “There was really only one other way to make this historic day more special.”
The couple eventually made their way out of the busy D.C. streets and celebrated their engagement at a restaurant-bar with friends. And then they went home to watch more inauguration coverage on TV.
Crawford said he woke up Wednesday morning excited about his decision. “I felt hopeful about everything — including about the country’s new direction.”
Crawford and Kilgas plan to marry some time in 2010, when Crawford’s father returns from Afghanistan. He’s a member of the National Guard and is scheduled to deploy later this year.