So being the procrastinator I am, I wasn’t able to post this blog when I wanted to, which was on Inauguration Day on January 20th, 2009. But it has been only two days since then, so better now than never right? Inauguration Day had such an impact on me. I don’t know if it was because Martin Luther King Day was the day before (did you know, that that is the official day of service?), because it was a historical event, or because this was the first time I actually opened my eyes and viewed the prestigious passing of power. I know a LOT of us complain about America and the current situations it has put itself in. But face it, no matter how low times may seem, America is still one of the greatest countries in the world. I mean, think about it, that Inauguration Ceremony was seen ALL OVER THE WORLD, which means that thousands of people witnessed how America transfers power – in a nonviolent, peaceful manner. I think that that ONE event gave the entire world a little more hope and optimism for the future, and for that, I think America deserves credit (:
Times are definitely changing. Over 45 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to promote civil rights.
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
And now, in 2009, the first African American president is gracing the White House with his presence. Really, the United States has come a long way has it not? And I don’t know about you, but seeing Obama being sworn it (despite the slight screw-ups), made me feel as if all hope wasn’t gone after all. It was as if the New Year had finally begun after Obama had placed his hand on that very same bible Lincoln had used. And Obama’s speech? Yeah I know that compared to the famous ones, it was nothing. But Obama really does know how to speak and draw in his audience, because at the end of that speech (which I didn’t find boring at all), I felt inspired! (:
“They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.”
“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”
“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.”
“We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.”
“America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. 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.”
– Barack Obama (44th President of the USA)
Those were some of my favorite quotes from his speech, and not only are Obama’s words inspirational, but his entire family incites a new purpose in every family in America.
The night before the Inauguration, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden sponsored a Disney Channel event. Now before you all groan about how Disney Channel is overrated, let me tell you WHO this event for. This concert that they held was for all of the military families, free of charge. Really, that is such a nice way to start off Obama’s reign, holding a concert for the people who fight for our country every day. Now I know what you’re saying, how would a concert with Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers ♥, benefit adults who see death and destruction daily? Seeing their children’s faces, who for the past months have been grave due to their relatives’ perilous jobs, light up. Just being able to see a smile break out on their children’s faces was enough to make the entire event fun for the ENTIRE family. And of course, holding this concert for the kids and broadcasting it, allowed children of all ages to feel a little closer to the matters occupying in America, as well as give them hope that they themselves will make a difference some day.
So friends, what’s going on with me? Honestly, I just feel really optimistic these days. New year. New semester. New president. Let’s see how things go, shall we? And with that, I’ll leave you with this lovely picture that made me smile (: