As I watched the inauguration today–courtesy of my workplace, which encouraged us to take advantage of the opportunity to watch it on a large-screen TV provided there–a number of thoughts went through my mind.
- What an incredible experience! How many countries would love to experience the kind of peaceful government transitions we take for granted? especially when the transition is as historic as this one.
- I remember living through the times of unrest and upheaval as we as a nation were struggling with issues of civil rights. While I hoped that the time would come when we would be color-blind–and would judge people by the content of their minds, not the color of their skin–I didn’t dream that we would be living this kind of experience today.
- Watching Obama’s oldest daughter as she was taking pictures of the crowd was a delight. Yes, this was something special for her–and something she will probably remember more than her younger sister–but she seemed more interested in making a record for herself than in realizing that she was an important part of the record for millions of others.
- As CNN followed past presidents and their families through the hall and out onto the inaugural platform, I was struck by the sense of aloneness when it was Obama’s turn. Yes, he was surrounded by a number of escorts, but in many significant ways, he was alone–carrying a burden of responsibility and expectations that only a few others can really understand. Watching the expression on his face, I sensed a recognition that his life will be forever changed.
- Looking down from the White House to the Lincoln Memorial and seeing the thousands and thousands of people who wanted to be a physical part of this experience was mind-boggling.
- Reverend Lowery’s prayer brought together so many elements–poetry, light humor, historical perspective, acknowledgment of the difficulties before President Obama, and recognition of our need to support him and to pull together…
- President Obama’s speech…it touched the right chord for me. He didn’t sugar-coat the difficulties ahead of us, but he spoke to the best that is in us. We are a diverse country, but that has a strength that can allow us to change our world. There will be significant changes–in moral leadership, in how we meet needs, in challenging us to make difficult decisions…
What an incredible day!