Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Did You See The Inauguration?

I watched President Barack Obama getting sworn in today. I had a sense of history as I did so. I listened closely to his speech. I tried to immerse myself in the scene and the atmosphere. I am genuinely happy for him and what he has achieved. I am happy for our country in the sense that people looked for the most hopeful symbol of American leadership and they came upon Barack Obama as that symbol, and in the doing crashed through the stigma of color and race. I think my favorite part of the speech was:

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction."

I really hope that our nation has come full circle and realizes how much we've really messed up. The corruption and greed has gone so far that our government is now almost compelled to regulate. It reminds me of the airports before and after 9-1-1. Remember the days when you could walk your loved ones to the gate they were leaving from? Remember when you could take bottled water and nail clippers on the plane? Remember when you weren't practically strip-searched at random? And the list goes on and on. Because of the acts of a few, it gets ruined for the whole. I'm sure none of us is going to enjoy the regulation of commerce, trade and the inevitable increase in taxes. But the corruption of a few has ruined it for the many.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I was really impressed by his speech. I have felt that Americans have a tendency to take our prosperity for granted, that we live too much in ourselves and do not look at the world as a whole and our nation as a part of it. If that is true, I hope we can change and work together with other nations for the good of the whole.