In a “moment that will define a generation,” in front of a global audience exceeding tens of millions, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States yesterday. It was hard not to get caught up in the excitement of this momentous day. Not only because of the historical significance of our first elected African American president. Not only because of the record-breaking crowds on the capital lawn, the traditions, the dignitaries, the parade, the eloquent but pragmatic Presidential speech and call to service for each and every one of us. Not only because President Obama reminds us that America knows ”that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness, ” that “we have chosen Hope over Fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord,” and that “all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.” But because President Obama reminds us of something even more important – something we’ve long known but seem to have forgotten, that the way to prosperity is not through self-interest, that the foundation of our country was not built on fear or intolerance, but rather “hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism,” ideals that are still present within us, ready to be called forth by a leader like President Obama. Where were you on this historic day? What will you remember about it? I was in the basement of my home in Lindstrom, my internet cord stretched taught all the way from upstairs so that I could simultaneously keep connected to work and watch the events of the day on the only TV in the house. I have never watched an inauguration before. I have never had so much faith or belief in the power of a leader to bring this nation together to do the hard work required to heal our wounds and fix our problems. Will it be a perfect country because of this change in leadership? Will we create Peace on Earth, food in every belly, a home for every person? I wish I could say a resounding, “Yes!” But it is still up to each of us to live up to the challenges set before us, to embrace “a willingness to find meaning in something greater” than ourselves and our own self-interests. If we can succeed in what President Obama has called us to do, to come together, gathered across all of our differences, to “extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good”, then perhaps, no, for certain, I will answer: “Yes we can!” "Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)." "WE HAVE CHOSEN HOPE OVER FEAR" For the President’s full speech please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/inaugural-address/ For the President and First Lady’s first dance, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RRBYxZ7uxA
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Well so far 2009 has kicked off to a great start. How could it not when you celebrate ringing in the new year with people you love, warm temps (well, warm being relative, compared to Jan. in MN), good food, live music, and a fantastic view of the Melbourne city fireworks from the 11th floor deck of the cruise ship Celebrity Millenium? It truly was a NYE to remember. Just last night we returned from this trip of a lifetime, a 14-day cruise in New Zealand and Australia, a trip we had been planning and saving for for over ten years. Between the two of us, we took over 1000 digital photos and captured many short (10-60second) videos of our trip. But don't worry - we won't post them all here! I will however be sharing some of the best highlights and photos of our trip in blogs to come, a nice diversion from the dark and cold January of a MN winter. So stay tuned folks, more of the "really good" stuff to come this week and next!