The reality of today overwhelms.
Here in this photo that I took in the glorious Saturday sunshine I see much more than the delightful and creative work of the students at the Metropolitan Learning Center on NW Glisan. Yes, that is enough to see in its own right, but I see more. I see today's inauguration and subsequent celebration as one of the most momentous days in American history.
Therefore, I see in my photo, there in the bright blue, the myriad colors and shapes and stories of America's citizens.
I see them glistening, shining, looking upward. I see them doing what they were created for, the viewer's enjoyment. But beneath that I see them doing much for those who created them, giving them a true sense of accomplishment and pride in their efforts. Surely no one made a single negative remark about any of their efforts, any of their results.
I see a reality in that sign in the lower left corner, one that represents for me something beyond its mundane message. It means I must take responsibility for my actions. On its face it means that I must not park in a restricted area, that I must find a legal place to park. Therefore, I must be a good citizen.
I am not being one bit facetious when I say that I make the connection between those thoughts and what President Obama said today: "What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship."
Please accept my heartfelt joy and exuberance and hope at being an American citizen on this night. And join me in praying for President Obama and our leaders and our country and the entire world as he begins to govern tomorrow, January 21, 2009, a date special to me for a more personal reason. My beloved husband LeRoy would have been 62 years old tomorrow.
I thank you for your indulgence as I draw these personal ties between my life and America's future.
Good night, everyone!
UPDATED TO ADD: I just heard on the news that, with all of those people in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration and all of that law enforcement, there was not a single arrest! Wow! In addition to yesterday's layers of chill bumps, I now have added another one! I'm excited about that peaceful beginning, let me tell you!