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18 January 2009 @ 05:35 pm
Obama's Inaugural Celebration  
It was stirring, a lot of pomp and circumstance, but I think it did its job. I certainly felt like it was a true celebration of my great nation. I am unabashedly a proud American, the 4th of July is my favorite holiday, Abraham Lincoln is my personal hero and this celebrated all of those things.

My favorite moments were Tom Hanks doing the Lincoln quoting (and, yes, I recited along with him The Gettysburg Address which I still have memorized to this day). Jaime Foxx impersonating Obama was pretty good too. I also enjoyed Garth Brooks and his performances (although, I thought the segue from the national parks and what-not to "American Pie" a bit, uhm, not very good). Still, he was good -- "Shout!" was fabulous -- and I especially liked when he respectfully took off his hat, acknowledged Obama and then waved to the girls. I'm not a big Bono/U2 fan, but I really enjoyed their performance. Bono just seemed to be infused with joy and it was contagious, and I loved how he shouted that every one, not just Americans, but the Irish, the Europeans, the Africans, the Israelis, the Palistinians want freedom too. Just because atrocities are being committed doesn't mean that most individuals of those warring countries don't want peace and freedom. I also enjoyed "This Land is Your Land" and the writer (?) trying to feed the words to the crowd. That was another joyful bit. And, ooh, ooh, towards the end, I saw George Lucas in the crowd. Cool!

Finally, the best for last -- Obama's speech ... which once again made me cry!!! I had alternate thoughts throughout his speech. The first was "Damn! That's my President! We did it!!," followed by a slight anxiety that something would happen to him. Of course, I suppose that former thought will never quite go away. Still, I want to rejoice and hold onto the first, the pride and happiness I feel. The hope. Because, you know, he sure does instill it. My worries and anxieties I'll put to another day. Today is about hope and joy.

I want to thank all the speakers and performers for reminding us, through song and through words, just what it is that we love about America. And I want to thank all of you for braving the cold and the crowds and traveling in some cases thousands of miles to join us here today. Welcome to Washington, and welcome to this celebration of American renewal.

In the course of our history, only a handful of generations have been asked to confront challenges as serious as the ones we face right now. Our nation is at war. Our economy is in crisis. Millions of Americans are losing their jobs and their homes; they're worried about how they'll afford college for their kids or pay the stack of bills on their kitchen table. And most of all, they are anxious and uncertain about the future -- about whether this generation of Americans will be able to pass on what's best about this country to our children and their children.

I won't pretend that meeting any one of these challenges will be easy. It will take more than a month or a year, and it will likely take many. Along the way there will be setbacks and false starts and days that test our resolve as a nation.

But despite all of this -- despite the enormity of the task that lies ahead -- I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure -- that the dream of our founders will live on in our time.

What gives me that hope is what I see when I look out across this mall. For in these monuments are chiseled those unlikely stories that affirm our unyielding faith -- a faith that anything is possible in America. Rising before us stands a memorial to a man who led a small band of farmers and shopkeepers in revolution against the army of an Empire, all for the sake of an idea. On the ground below is a tribute to a generation that withstood war and depression -- men and women like my grandparents who toiled on bomber assembly lines and marched across Europe to free the world from tyranny's grasp. Directly in front of us is a pool that still reflects the dream of a King, and the glory of a people who marched and bled so that their children might be judged by their character's content. And behind me, watching over the union he saved, sits the man who in so many ways made this day possible.

And yet, as I stand here today, what gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the spaces in between. It is you -- Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there.

It is the same thing that gave me hope from the day we began this campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago; a belief that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everybody together -- Democrats, Republicans and Independents; Latino, Asian and Native American; black and white, gay and straight, disabled and not -- then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our union in the process.

This is what I believed, but you made this belief real. You proved once more that people who love this country can change it. And as I prepare to assume the presidency, yours are the voices I will take with me every day I walk into that Oval Office -- the voices of men and women who have different stories but hold common hopes; who ask only for what was promised us as Americans -- that we might make of our lives what we will and see our children climb higher than we did.

It is this thread that binds us together in common effort; that runs through every memorial on this mall; that connects us to all those who struggled and sacrificed and stood here before.

It is how this nation has overcome the greatest differences and the longest odds -- because there is no obstacle that can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.

That is the belief with which we began this campaign, and that is how we will overcome what ails us now. There is no doubt that our road will be long. That our climb will be steep. But never forget that the true character of our nation is revealed not during times of comfort and ease, but by the right we do when the moment is hard. I ask you to help reveal that character once more, and together, we can carry forward as one nation, and one people, the legacy of our forefathers that we celebrate today.

Thank you, America. God bless you.
Timeladywitch: squeegothcat1969 on January 19th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Here here!! WELL SAID!!
bastetseyebastetseye on January 19th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
I have to admit as a Brit who's only really been watching the whole process for about 6 months or so it really is outstanding what the man has done so far. I mean if he does nothing from this point onwards and becomes the typical politicion he's brought people from all walks of life together and invigorated them in a way that I don't think any one done in decades.

Just before I got interested in what was going on I had being saying to anyone that will listen that the main problem effecting everyone preventing change is the general apathy that's sunk into people in the last decade or more, and he's inspired people to in away come alive again and that to quote a Doctor we know is Fantastic.

I'm can't vote due to religious reasons, but as I was saying to my parents as much as I moral choose not to vote had I been American I can see myself being sorely tempted to and can't blame any of my America member of my religion if they chose to. The man has charisma in spades! (of course there's a paranoid version of me who thinks it's possible he's the Master in disguise...)
Fey Spiritfey_spirit on January 21st, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
What religion forbids voting?
bastetseyebastetseye on January 21st, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'm (while no longer a active meeting goer) a Jehovah's witness, we don't vote to do so is acknowledge that the government has all the answer, which since they are imperfect they are going to make mistake.

Also no politician whatever his party is going to adhere 100% to the morals we believe in, so while I can personally see both side of issues like Stem Cells research (if it's not legalised at some point is going to become if it hasn't already black market and all the danger that brings) or going to war ( I don't believe in killing but I can understand the need for self defense, etc) It too some degree prevents us from feeling lately that we may have in ignorance perhaps morally uneased ourself.

Though I must state the second reason is more my personal believe as to why we shouldn't vote a JW. And I more than willing to accept that I fail on alot of other rules, at this stage of my life while I believe in my God I'm not an active member due to people issue and personal interpretation of a more 21st century realism slant, so only tend to do everything not to hurt anyone and love my god, and not to do anything I personally feel is wrong, but not judge others for doing it. Personally I feel God doesn't care what you religion is, or even if your perfect, as long as you try with all your heart to be what you see if a good person and do what you feel is write.

Please excuse any preaching I just didn't know how to answer your question any shorter!
Fey Spiritfey_spirit on January 21st, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
I just wish I could be as hopeful as you are...
At this point I just don't trust him, I want to - but I don't.