I’m still basking in the sunshine of a new day. The inauguration of Our 44th President,a feast of pageantry, patriotism, music, poetry and hope.
The last time that I was held prisoner by world events was 9/11 when I could scarcely move off of my couch because of the horrific and hypnotic pictures broadcast continuously throughout the day and night.
January 20, 2009 was equally compelling for me in an entirely different way. Like many I have felt my hope and faith drained slowly out of me for the past eight years. The notion that whatever can go wrong will go wrong seem to be manifest daily. The greater our telecommunications have become the more quickly we can be apprised of the horror, the death and destruction, greed and larceny that have become a daily diet.
As the spirit of our great nation seemed to drain slowly from our veins I became more and more apathetic and angry-but felt helpless to do anything. The obscenely long primary season did little to help as we were faced with more lies and deception and false promises. Politics became more than just a “silly season” it became vindictive, divisive and mean spirited. So, in order to add another measure of suffering to our already Fear-Filled lives, our potential leaders were further dividing us into armed camps.
Then Yesterday, I experienced the tectonic shift in the planet-not only in this country but all over the world. Yes, I may be overly optimistic or even naïve but I truly believe that The Change has come. I suspected it on November 4 when the news anchor said, “It’s over. Barak Obama has been elected President.” Then I listened hynotically to the incredible and Powerful acceptance speech. Maybe it is over.
On Sunday January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC, 500,000 people gathered on the National Mall in freezing temperatures to watch an epic production of pageantry and joy. A person would need to be half dead to have not experienced the exuberance of those hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country standing and cheering in celebration of a new tide turning in this country. That crowd, that joy-filled, loving crowd swelled to 1.8 million people yesterday filling the streets and sidewalks around the Capital, the National Mall and the White House where they shared a moment in history that will not soon be forgotten. In my heart I was with them- every one of them, I watched as they cheered and screamed and hugged and waved flags. And tears ran down my face and my throat constricted. I cried as I watched aged black veterans saluting throughout the Inaugural Address. I watched in disbelief as the camera panned the crowds that seemed to stretch to the horizon. And I watched elected leaders from every part of government come together in one group to watch OUR African-American 44th president take the oath of office. And I cried when they played Hail to the Chief for the first time to a new president.
Today I feel a peace that I have not experienced for a long time. I believe there is a change and I believe in my country again. The
I know there are many who remain disenchanted and disappointed with our new leader, I felt the same way eight years ago. At that time I was discouraged and believed we had been cheated out of our rightful President. But it wasn’t a choice there isn’t a president for one group and a president for another, we have one leader ,One president of our
At the end of his term, I am no happier but I’m still in American and he was still my president. In the next four years or eight years we will again pass judgment but this time it will be different because WE are being asked to participate in this change. It’s our turn to get out of the stands and on to the court so that when it is time to judge, it will be much more difficult.
During the run up to the election we were constantly reminded about our responsibility to vote. The only way to make a difference was to use your voice in the voting booth. We’re being asked again, not to look for a Change but to BE the change.
Are you willing to pledge to making a change?
(this was the first thing that President Obama did...)
NATIONAL DAY OF RENEWAL AND RECONCILIATION, 2009
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.
We are in the midst of a season of trial. Our Nation is being tested, and our people know great uncertainty. Yet the story of
is one of renewal in the face of adversity, reconciliation in a time of discord, and we know that there is a purpose for everything under heaven. America
On this Inauguration Day, we are reminded that we are heirs to over two centuries of American democracy, and that this legacy is not simply a birthright -- it is a glorious burden. Now it falls to us to come together as a people to carry it forward once more.
So in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, let us remember that: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the
Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2009, a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and call upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the
Independenceof the United States of the two hundred and thirty-third. America