A Happy Day. A Historical Day. A Day Of Hope.

The Internet and Blogosphere are filled to overflowing today with posts, articles and photos about the inauguration. I don’t think I have much else to offer other than a few personal observations.

I turned on the TV this morning to find hundreds of thousands of people already gathered before sunrise in the National Mall, made even more incredible by the frigid temperatures. By the time the swearing in ceremony took place, the Mall was filled with Americans and visitors from around the world who came to see history in the making.

At 12:06pm this afternoon, Barack Obama stepped into history when he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. We, as a nation, have much hope that he will indeed be the leader we need and the man that a majority of us believe we saw in countless speeches, appearances and debates. A man of intelligence who is able to capably express himself verbally and in writing. A man with an innate ability to inspire others. A man who sets aside grievances with former adversaries to concentrate on fashioning a positive future, and initiates dinners with far-right, radical conservative media pundits who have savaged his character and fitness for office either directly or through innuendo, in order to find some common ground from which to move forward.

Shortly before our new President was sworn in I twittered: “I’m a grown man, and I’m getting goose bumps because of what is about to happen in our nation’s capitol!!” Then, just after his speech I twittered: “This President possesses the leadership ability and skill that we have sorely been without the past 8 yrs. What a change we can believe in. What a great speech from a man who promises to be a great President for our great country.” Of all the twitters I read during the speech, this one from John Frost of The Disney Blog was the most poignant; “‘and the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.’ How can anyone not be moved by this moment?”

Obama brings with him the sense of hope that we have so long been without. The hope that the rule of law will return, that science will not be swept under a rug of religion, that an unwarranted invasion will end, that our economy will be strengthened with commerce and production instead of weakened by debt, that the needs of our world’s environment will not be ignored in the name of corporate greed and that America will once again rise to the role of leadership by example in the world.

That hope is tempered by the realization that change will not come overnight. Eight long years of poor administration and lack of leadership brought us to this point and it will not be changed in the blink of an eye, but it WILL be changed if we all commit to following the leadership and example of our new President. Better times are ahead for us, both as individuals and a country. That is the hope he has given us this day.

At approximately 12:10pm this afternoon the official website of the White House, whitehouse.gov, switched content to reflect the new administration. I immediately added the blog feed to my RSS reader.

It’s difficult to describe the joy I felt knowing the shrub and his cronies were out the door. Obama, as always, was gracious, but I cheered when the man stepped onto the helicopter and left our nation’s capitol. I’m obviously not as nice as our new President, that’s something I’ll need to work on in the future.

But before I do, did anyone else think that Cheney in the wheelchair looked like evil old Mr. Potter from “It’s A Wonderful Life”? Really, look at that photo. He looks like Old Man Potter.

Out with the old, our long national nightmare is over. Today was a happy day, a historical day and a day of hope for our country. Congratulations, President Obama.

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