Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The day after...

So it is the day after the big day...

Barack Obama is now the 44th President of The United States.

I like, countless people from around the world, watched the inauguration ceremonies on television with my family.
I knew Matteo, my preschool aged son, wouldn't grasp the significance being made but I wanted him to watch it anyways, have him witness the history through his almost 3 year old's eyes.

Part of me wished I had been in Washington to see it in person.
Just being witness to all those people, huddled together in ridiculously cold temperatures by the millions, on the National Mall just so they could see one man take an oath was almost too incredible to believe.
It was truly awe inspiring.

I just hope that sense of optimism, jubilation, hope and change carries with our friends south of the border once all the pageantry and celebrations are over.
This is one honeymoon phase that I hope can ride out the four challenging years that lay ahead.

Barack Obama has quite the job ahead of him.
It's overwhelming to think of all that he faces as he takes over as President.
Washington is a huge mess and so is the rest of the world.

But as I listened to his Inaugural Address I was convinced that if anyone possessed the ability to actually make change it was him.
America it seems got it right on this one.

Barack Obama goes beyond being just being the first Black man elected as President.
He brings together the idealism, passion and desire for change that men like Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy had before him.
Even ordinary men like Medgar Evers had his vision for change.

I know that giving a good speech doesn't make you a great President but its the ability to affect change and inspire your citizens to do the same that does.
And that is something that Obama does.
People stop to listen when he talks.
Young people who once were so disconnected to the world of politics are suddenly interested.
Proof once again that there is power in the spoken word.

My favorite line from his Address was this:
"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."

Yes, America elected Obama but the work for Americans as a people is not over.
They have their leader but now they must walk they talk of their ballots they filled out.
They wanted change and now they must work together in support of this change.
They must follow through to see their vision of a new America, and a new world.

When all was said and done and the ceremony was over my son turned to me and said...
"So he is the President now? Does Barack Obama get to move into the big house now with his family? Can I go and play there some day?"
Well at least I can say he knows who Barack Obama is.

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