I'm about to settle in on the couch and watch the Inauguration festivities, and it made me a little bit reflective.
On Sunday evening, I was talking to a lady at church who I felt like was a "kindred spirit" with me (you know, you can usually spot these people pretty easily). I asked her how she felt about the inauguration coming up and she got a little tear in her eyes as soon as she started to answer.
She said that her mother used to drive blacks in her community to register to vote (this was where we live today, in a suburb not far outside of Birmingham), and she'll never forget the morning that they woke up to see a cross burning in their front yard.
As she talked about the new president, she wiped a tear and said, "It's just hard for me to believe that we have come this far."
No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, I hope that we can all celebrate what this day means. How it shows that we have indeed come so far.
(Last night, Delaney, Gary, and I sat down together to watch a DVR-ed episode of the special "King" from the History Channel and she was just amazed that there was a day when police beatings and fire hosings and killings happened because people marched for a simple, God-given human right. It's so nice to know that Delaney, and many children her age, find it hard to understand that life was ever that way.)
I know that our new president is going to have a very tough time. He's probably jumping into one of the most difficult political terms in our history. The economy is in an awful state, and there is so much unrest around the world. I, myself, would not be paid a million dollars to be president and have to wrestle with what he will have to wrestle with.
But, those days will take care of themselves (much sooner instead of later, I'm afraid of) and I think that today is a day to at least be positive about our country and where we've come. I also think it's a day to celebrate the smooth transitions that we've come to get used to as Americans. Where else in the world do you see such a smooth, celebratory, joyful handing over of the keys, no matter what political party is coming into office?
I always shed a little tear when I listen to inauguration speeches (I'm a nerd that way!), and I know that I will do it again today. It's just always a cool day to be an American.
Added on now that the day is halfway complete:
I am in complete awe at the beauty of this process! How amazing it is to see the pomp and circumstance and tradition; to see all of the former presidents on the same stage; to see the goodwill between people who have differences; (Oh, if it were that way all the time! LOL); to see those cute girls of theirs having a great time; to see the way we Americans conduct ourselves.