Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration 2009

I was at the Inaugural today - bird's eye view to history. I was overwhelmed by the overflow of emotion, the hope in people's eyes that Barack Obama would cure our nation's ills. Although the temperature barely hovered above freezing I still was able to feel the warmth of the crowd's enthusiasm. The word of the day was unity and that theme was only broken once - when members of the crowd booed and hailed catcalls on President Bush as he walked out to "Hail to Chief" one last time. It was a sad display from a crowd that clearly drew inspiration from a new President who held out the hope of bringing Americans together, regardless of party affiliation.

As I stood in the crowd, the purple section, I was struck by the thought that it was a mere generation ago that men and women of color were being denied their right to vote, that it was 30-40 years ago that blacks were being physically dragged out of restaurants, hotels and busses all because of the color of their skin, it was fifty years ago that a little black boy was brutally murdered for the mere act of whistling at a woman with white skin - and I was proud of how this great nation managed, on this day, to wipe those stains away and now we can finally look to fulfilling the deferred dream that Dr. King had. Maybe we can begin to look past the color of man's skin and judge him on the content of his character. That's my audacious hope, my wish for this still young and maturing country.

So today, there were no Republicans or Democrats, no blacks or whites, just a throng of proud Americans. Two-Hundred plus years after our founding, one seemingly insurmountable barrier has been overcome. President Reagan called us the bless the last, best hope for the human race and I like to think that today that became a little more true. God bless America.

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