Tuesday, January 20, 2009


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.


Gretchen said...

Tears in my eyes as I read this post. It IS a cool day to be an American. We've seen all the living Presidents in one place today. Peaceful, and cordial to each other. Only in America, I think.

Cheryl Wray said...

Gretchen--I was just in awe of the pomp and circumstance of the inaugural ceremonies today. To see everyone get along so well was just so beautiful. I'm always amazed at how it runs so smoothly. It's one of the coolest things about being an American, I think.

camport said...

We watched the same History channel special the other night. I was so shocked that that went on in this country so recently. And still does, to an extent.

Today is an awesome day in history, indeed.


Dawn Bibbs said...

Shoot, I guess my comment didn't post. It was a really good one too ;-).

I think I simply said that I really enjoyed your post. I appreciate your honesty, your inspiration and your encouragement. My prayer is that, through what we've witnessed today, history in the making, other will start to see through your OPEN eyes! :-)

Love ya!

Kingcover said...

I watched it too from across the ocean (well I figured I would get a clearer television reception rather than bobbing up and down in the middle of 'The Pond' :-P) and the ceremony reminded me a lot of how official political stuff is done over here in the UK. In fact I would suggest that you guys learnt the pomp and circumstance stuff from us. Hehe ;-)

Monogram Queen said...

I was in awe watching too and I feel the same as you Cheryl. It's not always easy down here in the Deep South as racism runs deep but we're changing.. little by little. I made Madison sit and watch with me and we saluted President Obama together. I know she's little but I hope, somehow, she remembers!

Kathy said...

I watched for most of the day as well. It is amazing to see how well everything went. (Although, I felt sorry for all of those people standing out in that cold. BRRR!)

What an amazing story your friend shared with you.

Cheryl said...

Great post Cheryl. It is a day to be remembered for many, many years. I think he will do the best job he can, I think he is sincere. He needs all of our prayers. Thanks so much for your wonderful words. Have a great week!

hippo chick said...

Isn't it amazing how smoothly we transfer the leadership in this country? There are few places on earth where it happens like this.

I am with you that this is a wonderful day for our country. We need to pray much for our new president.

~hippo hugs~

Danielle said...

I am from Canada, and I've been watching this all day long...since 8am this morning!!! It's been an amazing day for your country :)....for the world actually! This day will always be a huge piece of history!

I'm still in AWE!!!!

Phats said...

It was amazing at the amount of people there. I couldn't believe Aretha's hat that HUGE bow. haha We watched it in my classes today, I believe my students enjoyed it.

Lynilu said...

I've had thoughts much like the lady at church. I was not in the thick of the turmoil in any way, but looking back over the changes in our coexistence in the US, I become emotional and teary every time. Hard to believe it took this long, yet I'm so please that we've come so far.

Maria Hammon said...

This was such an AMAZING day, indeed. I am so happy...and proud to be an American! I LOVE your post Cheryl! And I cried, too when I heard the inauguration speech.

Maria Hammon said...

This was such an AMAZING day, indeed. I am so happy...and proud to be an American! I LOVE your post Cheryl! And I cried, too when I heard the inauguration speech.