PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Palm Springs High School students and dozens of people of all ages stood proudly at the corner of Ramon Road and Kirk Douglas Way, waiting for President Barack Obama.

"We just thought it would be such a great occasion being Presidents Day to see the presidential motorcade," said PSHS 12th grader John Lanca, who invited his classmates.

With flags and posters in hand, the ROTC students also invited their history teacher Len Tugman to be apart of the historic moment with them, an up close glimpse of the commander-in-chief before his flight of out of Palm Springs.

"When you're an American government teacher, it doesn't get any better than seeing the president on President's Day," said Tugman.
 
"It was quite an experience to be that close to the most powerful man in the world," said Lanca.

Families took photos and watched as Air Force One left the tarmac and hit the sky. Many in the Coachella Valley were thrilled to spend Presidents Day with the president himself, waving their flags, saying farewell with hopes he'll return soon.

Lanca said it was his classmates way of showing respect to the president and patriotism for our country.

"We're all the future leaders of our nation. If we're not proud of our country we can't lead our country to the greatness it needs to be," said Lanca.