History was made today with the inauguration of Barack Obama has the 44th president of the United States of America. Being able to witness the first African-American take the oath of office to be our president will be one of the most significant events that I will likely witness in my lifetime. It ranks up there with Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” and the fall of the Berlin wall. Both were memorable events, with long-term ramifications, but I suspect this will surpass both.
Fittingly, the inauguration occurred one day after we celebrated the work and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Though some assert that Obama becoming president is the fulfillment of King’s vision, I think of it more as a milestone — albeit significant — with more advances to follow as a result.
A reported record-setting 2 million people were present to witness this momentous event, observing an orderly and congenial transfer of power that seldom occurs in the rest of the world. As expected, Obama, the great orator, delivered a powerful speech that was filled with compelling vision, firm resolve, and contagious optimism.
Interestingly, it seems that for many, Obama evokes an excessive exuberance in that he will quickly solve all problems and usher in utopia, whereas others have an irrational cynicism that he will produce all manner of misfortune and calamity. I’m in the middle, seeing the potential for positive and momentous change and expectantly hopeful of what he will accomplish. I agree with the pundits who say he realizes the need to be a centrist leader and is more likely to disappoint the far left than the far right.
Whether you voted for him or not, Barack Obama is now our nation’s leader. He deserves our respect and our support. He has mine; does he have yours?