Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009

I hesitate to write about politics in this blog, but this subject is so much more than politics. I am talking about Inauguration Day.

I am, as many Americans are, alternately excited and vaklemped as I think about all of the ramifications of having the first African-American President of the United States. There are people alive today who lived with segregated schools, bathrooms, restaurant counters, and all manner of indignities. And now there will be people alive who think nothing of having a person of color in the White House and, one day, a woman as our Commander In Chief.

President-Elect Obama (or President Obama, if you’re reading this after noon on January 20th, 2009), will take the Oath of Office using President Abraham Lincoln’s bible. I can’t help but wonder how wide the grin would be on Lincoln’s face if he were able to see this event. Actually, I think he will be able to see it as will Dr. King. Perhaps they are walking the Mall right now, reveling with everyone else who stand as amazed as I am right now.

The world may be a scary place right now, but for one day, the United States will celebrate. We will put aside the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the events of 9/11, and even Osama bin Laden, and revel in our strengths and our freedom with the eyes of the colorblind.

May our new President be wise, open-minded and strong as he answers the call to service. He walks in the footsteps of those who marched and fought for justice, and on their behalf, to some degree. May he always remember their struggles on his behalf so that he may have the opportunity to be who he is today – a man of color who just happens to be the Leader of the Free World.
NOTE: I beg the forgiveness of the photographer who snapped this photo of Rev. Jesse Jackson. It was taken on the eve of the election and I just thought it summed up the entire experience with one image.

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