Tuesday, January 20, 2009
America awakens to it's New Day...
America's celebration of change will reach a fever pitch in just a few hours, as Barack Hussein Obama takes his oath of office and is sworn in as the 44th President of those United States.
Obama's improbable rise to the highest office in the land has captured the imagination of Americans from sea to sea and citizens of the world stretching to the globes farthest corners.
The first African American to claim the nation's highest office, a prospect once thought of as unattainable but one which was fully endorsed and verified by the voters on November 4 of 2008, brings to Washington the hopes and aspirations of a nation and those far beyond their borders.
The historic snapshot when he takes his oath on the steps of the Capitol building will bring to America the fulfillment of a long time dream of many that equality would come, the final proof that in America, anyone could grow up to be President of the United States, its a watershed mark in the history of a Republic that has seen much tragedy along the way to today's moment in time.
The change to come in Washington is being anticipated like few others in history, a sense of pride for African Americans and other minorities and prayer of hope from all Americans that the once Senator from Chicago, a community organizer before that, can find a way to bring a worried nation together to a common cause.
The Obama Presidency begins among the toughest of economic times that the world has seen since the thirties, daily reports of banks in trouble, factories closing, jobs lost and homes repossessed seem to be the currency of the news these days, yet as we have seen over the last few days, the prospect of Mr. Obama's agenda at least for now stirs hope for better days.
After eight years of crony capitalism and greed that nearly and may yet still bring down the American financial base, the task must be seen as daunting, but Americans are clearly hoping that their new President can find a way out of the daily roll call of financial misery.
Gone they hope will be the days of mishandled natural disasters, floods and hurricanes that left destruction in the poorest parts of the nation, providing a portrait of a government out of touch with the misery of their citizenry and at times incapable of providing relief.
International trouble continues to boil on the hotplate and surely more tests will come for the new President, but as the world joins in on the inaugural celebrations the sense of a new page for America, a new start and a chance to once again become a trusted broker on the international stage seems set to begin.
There seems to be an awful lot expected of President Obama, no shortage of lists of things that need to be done, fences to be mended, changes of direction that must be made.
While African Americans celebrate the arrival of Obama, far too many still live in poverty and suffer injustices, there still is work to be done, but America surely has turned a new page in its ever going quest to shape their Union.
Time will tell if many of those expectations could be met, there will no doubt be disappointments and setbacks along the way, but for the first time in what seems like a very long time, America seems to have a spring in her step, a feeling that maybe they might make it through a long storm that has battered them endlessly, a sense of pride that has been diminished over the years.
The truth though is that those tests will continue for a few years more, the financial crisis to get much worse before it gets better, international issues to flare up and provide no shortage of challenges and civil and social issues at home that still need to be addressed and redressed.
But as we watch history being made in Washington today, you can't help but feel happy for the neighbors, from the ghosts of the many years of their past they are looking to the future, and for one day at least they seem pretty happy with their reflection.
Though we are but mere observers on this parade of Americana, as has been seen we have a very great interest in today's change, for the world has a vested interest in this pageant of democracy.
Far too often it seems that America is the target of anger, disappointment and even distress from her global partners, but on this inauguration day she is the subject of envy for many.
The overwhelming sense of hope that this new Presidency seems to have cultivated is contagious, far beyond the fifty states and assorted territories and possessions, there is a genuine wish of success for Mr. Obama on his journey through troubled times and uncharted waters.
In his political base of Chicago there once was a chant in the streets, taking place under much different circumstances of the "whole world is watching".
Forty one years later, that same chant could be made today and heard beyond Chicago, but for a completely different and much more joyous reasons!
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