Several Antelope County residents attended President Barack Obama's speaking event in Omaha on Wednesday, just one day after giving his final State of the Union Address.
Eight thousand tickets were released for the event and several Antelope County residents were on hand, including 2011 Neligh-Oakdale graduate Rebekah Kuhfal, who was a volunteer at the event. Kuhfal attends UNO and used the event to help fill her volunteer hour requirements for her scholarship.
"This is seriously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I had, volunteering and seeing the president," Kuhfal said. "There have been plenty of speeches in Omaha by past presidents, but not by a president in office. So I think it was kind of cool I was able to see that. Kind of mind blowing - that's half of what I was thinking about during the speech."
Kuhfal said she wasn't sure what Obama would speak about and said she thought people came to hear from the president in general, not just what we would say about specific topics.
"I think it was the community and know he was here, seeing him and hearing what he had to say. He had good things to say; it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she said.
Kuhfal actually did more than just volunteer. She helped provide a little entertainment by starting the wave.
Neligh resident and Keystone XL pipeline fighter Art Tanderup of Neligh compared the event to that of a Nebraska football game.
"You would almost think you were at a Husker game. I mean it was so exciting in here. It was loud, people were excited," he said. "I never heard one booing-type comment from the crowd or negative comment yelled out. We didn't have that kind of thing here today; people appreciated what the president has done and really appreciated the fact that he decided to come to Omaha today," Tanderup said.
Tanderup said hearing Obama was very special, after all he is the president who rejected the pipeline through Nebraska.
"With climate change, I'm very pleased to hear that he is extremely well versed with what's happening to our world and how we need to step up to stop it," he said.
Following his speech in Omaha, President Obama boarded a plane for Louisiana for another speaking engagement.