Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day That Shall In Infamy

Today we have witnessed an amazing feat for America. President Barack Obama became our 44th president and the first president of African American descent. As I watched this historic event streaming live on the web, I was brought to tears a number of times. Watching him walk out to the venue, I couldn't imagine what was going through his mind or how nervous his stomach must have felt; yet he never displayed a moment of weakness or nervousness at all.

As he addressed the throngs of Americans present and on line, as well as the millions of others from around the world, Barack Obama spoke eloquently and confidently as a leader should. The cameras captured millions of people in attendance witnessing an event that many thought would never come. I saw people young and old, black and white, male and female, all united together in the common bond of the hope that is now America. Among the particular images that touched me were parents gathered with their children, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Jr. as the President mentioned those who came to the aid of others "when the levees broke," members of the armed forces standing confidently in their dress uniforms, and members of the original Tuskegee Airmen proudly wearing their caps identifying them as such. Seeing those airmen brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Imagine how proud they are to be Americans today! In addition, when President Obama spoke of his father who, "less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant" as his son now stood before us all and took his most sacred oath, the tears flowed not just for me but for all of us Americans who remember those difficult times in our history.

President Obama's speech was compelling. He spoke of our trials and triumphs as a nation and he spoke of how, today, we gathered "because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord." He referenced scripture, our forefathers, and our founding beliefs as a nation united together for a single purpose. Most compelling, he said, "The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that we are all equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." America, the time has finally come.

Yes, these are words and ideals we have heard before; but today we witnessed them come true for the first time in our history and I am overwhelmed at the hope that it brings us all. I'm hopeful that this new leader, our 44th President of these United States of America, will bring about the change we so desperately desire for this country. President Obama strikes me as one of the most intelligent men we have ever had in this important post and I am confident that he has the ability to lead us to great things. I believe him when he said, "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America--they will be met."

Congratulations, America. We have finally turned a corner that has haunted our history for far too long. Today, we can finally come together and put an end to the elitist behaviors and ideals that have kept us separated for so long. Today, we can join as one and work toward the common goals and beliefs we have established for our nation.

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