As I sit here and watch the inauguration of Barack Obama, I'm awash with emotions... hope and pride being those in the forefront. There is a sea of hope in National Mall and across the nation today; people waving American flags, and maybe for the first time in many months or even years, feeling proud to be an American.
For many, Barack Obama was not the choice, but today, we are not Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives; we are Americans who come together to support a man with a job in before him... a job that most of us would never want to have. He takes office at low point in our history, and he is faced with so much... a tanking economy, war, terrorism and a monstrous deficit. Just tackling one of those would bring most us to our knees. Can he turn this around? I'm certain that it will take considerable time and it won't come without trial and error. He is human, after all, and not a God. Tomorrow the ceremonies and balls will be over. He will step in the oval office for the first day of work and be handed the daily defense reports. Our safety will be in his hands. He seems like a friendly man, approachable and even magnetic. Peace seems very important to him, and he puts forth an outer calm that makes us believe it's possible. In his inauguration speech, he said that everyone would be met with an open hand, if they would unclench their fist. He sets an example for us as a peacekeeper, a father, a husband and a leader.
Today is a moment in history. The children of the future will learn that this was the day of the first black American president. Today is the day that Martin Luther King's dream came true. It's not so long ago that black people were fighting for the right to vote. For the first time in their lives, black children can believe that they can be anything they want to be, even the President of the United States. Every child should have that kind of hope.
And now, I'll get down from my political soapbox to which I will probably not return for many years. I do not typically have strong political convictions, but whether it is the state of the nation or excitement of President Obama's campaign, something in me woke up and I cared what happened. I think that happened to a lot of people.