Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quite a Historic Day

Barack Obama became our 44th President when he took the oath of office today. I don’t know if you saw the news or not. {SPECIAL NOTE: if you are not aware of this little factoid please check your pulse}. Here’s a decent article on the festivities: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090120/ap_on_go_pr_wh/inauguration_rdp. No matter how you voted or what your “politics” are, President Obama is the leader of our country and, after watching a LOT of news today with the Three Chicks, it’s hard to not feel a sense of optimism for whatever the future may hold. “Hope Over Fear” was the theme of President Obama’s inaugural speech. Judging by the, what appeared to be millions of, people there on the National Mall it looks like America is ready for some hope. I have said it before but please allow me to say it again; I don’t like either of the main parties and I didn’t vote for Obama or McCain for that matter (I’m a Libertarian). However, I recognize certain moments that make us who we are as a people as a nation – today was just such a moment. You see, I remember my mother calling me into the room to watch our 13 inch TV and to see Gerald Ford take the oath of office. She and I watched Nixon get onto that helicopter and leave Washington D.C. for parts unknown.

“This is history.” She said. “You should try to remember this.”

I suppose she too had a fondness for such moments. So it was in this spirit that today I sat down with my three daughters and watched the Inauguration and the throngs of people (1 million plus attendees), and listened to the “Hope over Fear” speech. This little blog is not specifically about who is right or wrong, politics or even civics for that matter, no; it’s more about marking a moment in our collective history. Today, Gentle Reader was one for the history books. Today history unfolded right before our very eyes. An African American man took the oath of office for the Presidency of the United States of America swearing on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln swore on during his inauguration. That is pretty remarkable considering how young our country really is, how slaves were used to build the Capitol Building where President Obama took the Oath of Office, and how not all that long ago people, based on the pigment of their skin, couldn’t use the same bathrooms as those of us who are pigment challenged. The fact of the matter is we are not talking all that long ago that this segregation was openly taking place and being enforced as law.

Lady Liberty, you’ve come a long way baby.

I know a handful of hearty souls who were there today on the mall when the President was sworn in. I was sorely tempted to drive down to Washington with the rest of my family just to be able to say that we were on the Mall when the President was sworn in too. I’ve been in large crowds in Washington D.C. before (Promise Keepers – Stand in the Gap) and it can be a bit overwhelming. Lump that in with there being only one bathroom at the Lincoln Memorial, Mother Hen’s recent sickness, and the fact that the Inauguration probably had more safety and security protocols than the city has ever seen and my living room began looking like a much more preferable and viable option. So, at the appointed time I made sure that my girls were there to watch the event happen live; the peaceful transfer of power that is one of the cornerstones of our republic for which it stands.

“This is history.” I said glancing at their faces as they watched the moments unfold. “You should try to remember this.”


Merci said...

You had the best seat in the house! I was at work, blast.

I DID vote for Mr. O, though I don't like the look of party politics these days, either. I think there will be limits to what he can accomplish, but I like his approach and his attitude - hence the hope.

Pax Romano said...

I have not felt this optimistic about the You Ess of Ay in some time.

God Speed, Mr. President.