"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. " - Barack Obama
It is such a fascinating time. Watching Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, I was blown away by the amount of people there, but I totally get it. Everyone wants to really be there, sharing this historic moment. One of my neighbors even took the train down to DC with his partner, to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Watching it with some of my workmates, it truly felt like a unifying hour. I loved Biden's sincerity and confidence in taking his vows. I cheered Aretha Franklin on, though I wished the key of the song had been lowered so she could really belt it out. Still, she's Aretha and she's wonderful!
I was especially moved by the quartet (cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and pianist Gabriella Montero) who played John Williams' composition, "Air and Simple Gifts." What a gorgeous tribute!
And of course, I was greatly inspired by our new president Barack Obama. His speech was awesome, and I was especially moved by these passages:
"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. "
"It has not been the path for the faint-hearted... Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things.."
"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. 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."
"In this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations." - Barack Obama.
So it is time to meet the challenges before us and to press on with hope and prupose.