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Our Land

“This land is your land.

This land is my land.

From California to the New York islands

From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and me.”

I sat in my living room with my friends watching, utterly transfixed, as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. I had known this day was coming since November 5th but I was still taken aback as I watch the absolutely record-breaking crowd at the National Mall during President Obama’s inaugural address. This is really happening.

And what made his speech even more powerful was that he addressed to not only the 300 million-plus crammed into the city or even the millions watching on televisions across the country but to people watching across the world. He reminded us all that now is the time to take responsibility and do our own parts in making change possible. That opportunity is a dare — not a door.

I watched, me and my friends largely snowed in, when Daybreak asked why I began crying silently.

I explained to her how I grew up hearing stories about how in my family’s time, they were not allowed to go to the same schools as white children. That they had different restaurants. That they were required to give their seats to a white person.  That to see this man become President, one of the most powerful men in the world, was something that must have my passed family members smiling from Heaven.

I told her how proud I was of this country and how hopeful I was for its future. That I was ready and willing to do my part to help it prosper so that the children now, like her, would have an even better life than I did. And then I told her something that I hope she keeps with her for years to come.

That if you have the ability, there is little to nothing you cannot do.

This child — this blond, green-eyed child — nodded before snuggling back down into my lap while everyone else in the room tried to act as if they hadn’t been listening as well.

It won’t be easy, nothing worth doing ever is. But for those who will come later I fully believe it is worth the effort to change the way things are done in the economy to law-making to foreign policy.

We’ve come so very far.

But we still have so very far to go.

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  1. January 20, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Your posts often make me cry. Here I go again…

    I sat behind my third grader at school, watching the screen, thinking about how grateful I am that she’s growing up today, in this era.

    She gave me her “Yes, we did it!” button to wear.

  2. January 20, 2009 at 6:01 PM

    Reading what you wrote brought tears to my eyes. I have been at work all day and I have class tonight so I won’t be able to watch the Inauguration until tonight. I am sure a box of tissues will be needed, but I’ve never been so excited to cry!

  3. January 20, 2009 at 8:17 PM

    It was a powerful speech, no doubt… brought tears to my eyes more than once. Fingers are crossed now…

  4. January 20, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    Indeed, we’ve come so far. And yes, we have so far to go. But it’s nice to know we’re going somewhere.

  5. January 20, 2009 at 11:35 PM

    Alas, I could not watch the inauguration because I had to go to the campus bookstore and then to class.
    Today was a monumental day in history; perhaps now we will be able to look forward to Tomorrow for a very long time.

  6. January 21, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    First off, welcome to WordPress! We know how to rock like no Blogger blogger does. 😉

    And second, your post made my eyes water. I have a lot of hope for our immediate future.

  7. January 21, 2009 at 6:25 PM

    What a great moment in history in deed! It makes me want to cry as well!!

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