I have a lot of thoughts about today, so I figured, its my blog, I should write a few of them down.
Two things that summarize a lot of what I feel, my sister's blog and an article from Meridian Magazine. Plus some good pictures.
I don't know that I can write as eloquently as they did, but two things I heard today made me take notice of what an exceptional day it is.
The first was an interview with one of the Tuskegee Airmen. This gentleman fought in WWII then lived in the South. After the Civil Rights Act was passed in the late 60s, he and his wife went to Washington, as a sort of celebratory visit. When they tried to get a hotel room, they were told that they could not have a room, and that their sort would never be welcome in this city. He said he has never felt like an American until this day.
No matter your politics, that hope has come to people who lived in this country all their lives, yet never felt a part of it is a good thing. If seeing their possibilities lifts even a few of the poor, the inner-city children who were taught that they could not succeed, those who felt a good life was never even a possibility, we have gained as a nation. It has given them the hope that so many of us take for granted, how can we, the privileged, look down on them for their joy?
Then accidentally listening to Pres. Obama's inauguration speech, as he called for the people to help and work to solve today's problems I was relieved that the paternalistic cycle of government might be ended. Democrats are not known for their ability to rely on the people instead of the arm of government. Yet that is what is needed and what was lacking in the last presidency. As crisis after crisis came, he never called on the people to unite and sacrifice to face them. He told us to not worry and keep shopping while the government, in the form of the Army, Homeland Security and Treasury Department did their jobs. This didn't work, and reliance on a government solution won't work. It is the people and their ability to not be frightened by rumor-mongering press, to resist the banks and credit cards and merchandisers, and to help one another that will overcome any given calamity. Obama made reference to this strength of the people, I hope he truly believes in it.
Read his speech, see for yourself what he has to say and what his goals are, don't let rumor and fear close your mind before you decide. Some quotes I thought were relevant and important from his speech:
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
p.s. Thanks to my friend Cheryl who attended the event and let me boorow one of her pictures.