Reflections While Watching the Inauguration


    “Faith in America’s Future” is the apt theme of today’s 57th Inaugural, the Second Inauguration of President Barack Obama.  And as Senator Charles Shumer exposed, too many doubt our ability to effectively face our future.  We are a practical problem-solving people, said Shumer.  Those betting against that have been on the wrong side of history.

    Merlie Evers-Williams, widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, called for blessings upon our leaders.  “As we sing the words ‘This is my country,’…may the inalienable rights of every man, woman and child be honored…Especially may the ‘least of these’ be honored…. We ask that you give our president the will to act courageously but cautiously.  Bless our families all across this nation….

    As the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” soars, we feel the birth of a new day in our history.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) quoted Alex Haley who said, “Find the good and praise it.”  He refereed to the peaceful transfer of power as “the freedom to vote for our leaders and the need to respect the results.”  Alexander introduced Justice Sotomayor, who will administer the oath to Joe Biden.  

    James Taylor’s sang a shortened version of “America the Beautiful.” Shumer introduced US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.  And our president has been sworn in.

    As he is formally introduced to our country, what seems like a million flags are waving. “We believe that America’s prosperity will rise on the shoulders of a strong middle class…,” he says.

    (I will try to capture more and ultimately we will link the entire text here at BV):

    “We hold these truths to be elf-evident… While these truths are self-evident, they have never been self-executed…. Patriots did not fight to replace the privileges of a king, with the  privileges of a few.  ….We made ourselves anew and vowed to move forward.  Together we discovered that a free market only thrives if their are rules…  Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, our celebration of initiative and enterprise..our belief in hard work…

    A decade of war is now ending.  And economic recovery has begun….

    We understand our programs are inadequate to the problems of our time….

    And our president challenges us to not think we need “to chose between the generations that made America (what she is) and the generation” who will follow. He continues by saying that Social Security and Medicare do not signal a nation of takers but signal what makes our nation great.

    And he challenges us to become a nation of peace.  The knowledge of sacrifice will carry us into the future.  He will lead by showing the courage to try to resolve our differences peacefully with other nation’s courageously.

    More of the gist: It is our generation’s task to build on our heroes of equality. If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to each other must be equal as well.”  Our journey is not complete until all our children…now that they are cared for and cherished.  That is our generation’s task, said the president.

    Obama: Being true to our founding documents does not mean we must all define liberty the same way or follow the same path to happiness.

    Decisions are upon us.  We must not substitute absolutism for principle.

    Our president has sworn an oath to God and country, not party or faction.  The words are not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag …that fills our hearts with pride.  You and I as citizens have the power to set this country’s course….

    And then he calls upon us to answer the call of history.

    (We’ll post the full text soon…KathyinBlacksburg could not type fast enough to do it justice.)

    12:42 PM.  At this point four years ago, we were making our way out of the purple tunnel and heading to the Metro station having missed the entire ceremony while trapped underground.  I must say I liked it much better watching from home.  But I am happy that so many of my friends saw this live.  And I know that they were as inspired as I was concerning the strong message of unity, peace and progressivism.  They contributed awesomeness to the live photos as well! 🙂  So thanks to those who were there and those who joined us in front of your television sets and on your laptops.  


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