KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Joyful Day

Crowds on the National Mall in Washington, DC (Reuters photo)10:33 a.m. — I am attempting to work today, on what should be a national holiday: the inauguration of a new president. This one is mature, intelligent, even-tempered, young, forward-looking, and, incidentally, the first half-black national leader.

I am watching the festivities and solemn ceremonies on TV, from the warm comfort of my home. Please forgive any hyperbole that you might perceive here as I post throughout the day, but you must understand that I, like the thousands of people crowding the National Mall, have been waiting for such a long time for government that makes sense.

Forgive me, those of you who are not religious, but this day feels holy to me, in the sense that so many people are coming together to celebrate their plans to be their best selves for the next several years. It is going to be the "in" thing to be optimistic and hardworking and kind and selfless, and that is holy. Barack Obama is not perfect, but neither is anyone else in this country, and yet most of us will be striving to get back to our best selves and our best community. That is holy.

That is hope, and hope is vital to living fully.

11:24 a.m. — It's so amazing to see all of those former presidents filing into one place. Jimmy Carter looks so much healthier than George H.W. Bush.

And what a snub that Republican Sen. John Cornyn delayed Hillary Clinton's confirmation as secretary of state by a day, supposedly because he wasn't satisifed with her answers to questions during confirmation hearings. I'm sure that he just didn't want her to be able to attend Obama's inauguration as secretary of state.

12:56 p.m. — What an inspiring speech by our new president! It was strong yet conciliatory, a call to action and a call to be our better selves. I'm ready to work hard for my country. Are you?

3:15 p.m. — The only thing that I did not like about Obama's inauguration was his choice of the homophobic Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation. I understand wanting to build bridges between opposing schools of thought, but Obama's inviting that guy felt to me as if Obama had invited a member of the KKK. Blech!

But then came the benediction given by the Rev. Joseph Lowery. At one point, he prayed, "We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in 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." Powerful truth there in the guise of humor. Way to go, Rev. Lowery!


Peter K Fallon, Ph.D. said...

Yes, I am. Amen, Alleluia, and God bless America!

Unknown said...

What a day!

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