At noon today, I was where most of us were- parked in front of a television to watch the 44th president get sworn into office. It's been said over and over how historic this event is and how eager we all are to get onto the next chapter in our countries history. So it was with a little anxiety that I listened to the words of the President as he accepted his new position. I thought that I would surely be disappointed by whatever he was going to say. After all, how could he possibly live up to the expectations that I and so many others have placed upon him? Yea, well, he did. The speech rocked hardcore. He inspired, but at the same time let us all know that we need to accept responsibility and sacrifice. He also bashed everything Bush "accomplished" in his 2 terms with such elegance that I don't think Bush even noticed!
Some of my favorite excerpts:
"This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
Love this part:
"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."
Love that he talked about Muslims and non-believers like they were normal people, imagine that:
"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.
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."
Insert goosebumps here:
"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."
Gotta say it.. historic...