Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States today. He is the first Black man to hold this position of power and due to that fact, the conflicts our nation is currently embroiled in, the precarious position of our economy, etc. etc. etc. – his actions will be scrutinized. As excited as I am that he’s been elected, I’m more excited to see how he will govern. If his speech is any indication, we’re in good hands. But before we get to that, I’d just like to share some words from Reverend Joseph Lawry who delivered the Benediction. It was riddled with poignant prose, but this was my fave, “In the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man -- and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.”


And now for Obama’s excerpts (drum roll please):

On Americans maintaining hope despite the current climate, “Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.”

On creating better relations between our and other nations, “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

On becoming the change we wish to see and dedicating our energies to betterment, “…they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.”

On overcoming the obstacles before us, “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.”


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