Wednesday, January 21, 2009
That was special. The first black President of the United States is Barak Obama. He swore the oath of office on the same bible President Lincoln swore his oath. President Obama will be living in the White House which was built by slaves. This inauguration day's historic significance has been proclaimed countless times by countless talking heads since November 4th, but I am still struck by it. January 20, 2009 was a day for Americans to be proud of their country.
I've always been sappy about America. I don't think the US is without it's faults, but despite those faults my national pride has always heavily outweighed any embarrassments I may have. If election day is the super bowl of politics and government, inaugurations are the trophy presentation. They are the celebrations of accomplishments past and present.
Inaugurations days are an orgy of delight for me. I love the traditional military pomp and circumstance, Hail to the Chief, the peaceful transfer of power, the simple and meaningful oath of office, the inaugural balls, and the overall celebration of our country and it's new president.
President Obama gave a bit of a somber inaugural address which I found appropriate for the time we are living in. I thought he ended the address particularly strong.
"Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter;" was probably a reference to our current economic hardships, but to me and I can hope to President Obama it also means the idea of America--a country that leads by example and does what is right even when it is not the easiest path or as a previous president liked to say, "a shining city upon a hill."
This shining city has lost much of it's luster over the past eight years. I hope President Obama and the rest of the elected representatives in Washington can once again give Americans a country to be proud of without a hint of embarrassment or reservation.