Obama’s Historic Presidency Brings Me New Hope For The Future

January 20, 2009

Washington D.C. (ChattahBox) – As I sat with my three year old daughter, watching the swearing in of America’s 44th President (VIDEO BELOW), I found myself overwhelmed by the journey that has stood behind this great country, and the one we are now embarking upon. The excitement that could be felt from the crowd was tangible, and it spoke of change, hope, and a collective fear that has drawn us together in our joint humanity, as Americans, in a way that I had never felt before.

It was a historic moment, and as President Barack Obama took the podium for his oath, he seemed practically giddy, fighting to retain his cool image he has so far been known for since his initial campaigning during the summer, and fall, of 2008. He tripped over his words as he took the oath, speaking of his nerves, and his excitement, but by the time he addressed the nation, with plenty of words meant for the world at large, his voice was once again steady.

President Obama spoke of the desperate challenges ahead, of the wars entangling our country, the economic crisis that has left many jobless, even homeless. He spoke of the damaged policies that have led to us having to choose between security, and our core values that, as Americans, we have always held so dear. He spoke of the changes that would be needed to move forward, in our healthcare, education, energy conservation, and as a responsible, ruling nation that will be at the forefront of assisting other nations, encouraging others to join us in our fight against intolerance, poverty, and hunger.

“The challenges we face are real, they are serious, and they are many,” he told the crowd of millions, as well as those tuning in from all over the world. “They will not be met easily or in a short span of time.”

His voice was strong as he proclaimed, “But know this America – they will be met!”

His speech was consistent with the promises he made during his campaign, solidifying his position, and his dedication to fulfilling the promises he made as he sought the presidency, a rarity when you consider the usual habit by most presidents of stepping away from their campaign in their inaugural speech.

But of all that he said, of all of the promises, and talk of the way forward, it was these worlds that brought tears to my eyes, and gave me a swell of hope for the future of my young daughter who sat beside me, witnessing this incredible event:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.

“We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

I know I stand behind President Obama’s statement, knowing that as we take these baby steps into a new future, it will be this day that create the foundation for a changing world, one that we can once again hold as a symbol of hope, that will be a beacon for all who come after.


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