Waving an American flag, Theresa Sykes nodded and wept as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
“I am so happy, so excited and so relieved,” said Sykes, standing and full of emotion at an Inauguration Day Watch Party late Friday morning at the Cobb County GOP Headquarters in Marietta.
Sykes, a 53-year-old mother of two sons, ages 6 and 13, took a break from work Friday morning to watch history and savor the moment. She grabbed a plate of chicken, potatoes and green beans but, so overwhelmed by the moment, she barely touched her food.
Wearing a long-sleeved red-shirt with a blue T-shirt over it, a red-white-and-blue scarf and several Trump/Pence stickers and pins, the stalwart conservative said she immediately liked Trump’s candidacy.
“When I looked at him, from day one, it was like — he was the man,” she said. “I don’t know if it was God telling me or what. But I felt it very strongly.”
She liked that Trump was straightforward, not afraid to speak his mind. She liked that he’s a billionaire businessman and believes that his business background will translate into job creation. And she likes his strong personality.
“He will not put up with nonsense or complacency from members of Congress,” she said. “He will not allow for status quo.”
For Sykes, Trump’s presidency will usher in a new era with great change, and she believes will support many issues and concerns important to her which include the following: stricter immigration policies, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court, reducing the national debt, repealing Obamacare and overhauling public education.
“I was deeply concerned in the destructive direction of my nation, my home,” said Sykes. “I love my home, my country America and I will do what I can to make it better for its citizens.”
Sykes lives in Powder Springs with her family. She and her husband, Dr. Robert Sykes, have a dental practice in Marietta. Her husband in the dentist. She is a dental hygienist and helps run the office.
Throughout the campaign, Sykes was on a mission to help Trump get elected. She joined a group of about 200 strong Trump supporters in Cobb County who call themselves “Team Trump Cobb County.” She actively campaigned for Trump during the presidential race, standing near a polling place near Marietta High School, for several hours at a time, waving an American Flag, and also holding a Trump/Pence Make America Great sign.
Beyond that, every time she went to a Kroger, a CVS, Wal-Mart, anywhere around town, she seized on what she considered an opportunity to woo more votes for Trump. She approached strangers, men, women, and gravitated to younger people who are less likely to vote.
“Hey honey, what do you think of Mr. Trump,” she’d say to just about anyone. From there, she’d encourage people to research the issues, stay engaged, and — particularly to those expressing support for Trump — vote.
During Trump’s inauguration speech, Sykes and others stood up to cheer several times — when Trump talked about jobs, patriotism, and when he talked about transferring power from Washington, D.C., and “giving it back to you, the American People.”
And everyone in the room were on the feet by the time Trump said:
We Will Make America Wealthy Again… We Will Make America Safe Again.
They knew what was coming, and they said the motto of Trump’s campaign with President Trump, loudly and triumphantly:
“We Will Make America Great Again.”
After the swearing in ceremony, Sykes gathered her belongings to leave the GOP headquarters in Cobb County and returned to work. But before she left, she and others in the room embraced, gave high fives and fist pumps. Later in the evening, she would celebrate some more at an Inaugural Day ball at a golf course in Johns Creek. She planned to wear a black evening gown — with her red-white-and-blue scarf.
And as she left the GOP headquarters, tears filled Sykes’ light green eyes once again.
“I believe Trump is going to define America based on our founding principles that built a great America,” she said. “My hope is he will do all he said he will do.”