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The Inauguration

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

We watched with friends.  I won’t add commentary, since we were all in the moment together, and it doesn’t need parsing.  I thought Barack gave a good and forceful speech, an honest look at the problems ahead.  The emotion of the moment–many of us in the room were weeping.  And when the Navy sang the Star Spangled Banner, we all got to our feet and joined in, to our surprise–I hadn’t thought I would ever want to sing the National Anthem with real emotion again.  The invocation seemed truly offensive to me; a young friend of mine who drove to DC to take part also found it offensive, but said many in the crowd around her were moved by it.  The person who did move me was Joseph Lowery.  I had forgotten the old Civil Rights invocation–we used to say it, hear it, back in the sixties.  I feel heartened by Obama’s pledge to restore civil liberties and hope he does so; I feel heartened by his commitment to turning around the culture of mindless greed and consumption that’s brought us down this hard economic road.  I feel heartened by his intelligence and awareness of the massive problems he, and we, face.

Let me know what struck you best/least about the Inauguration.

P.S.  My atheist husband was pleased that Obama acknowledged “non-believers” in his call to people of all faiths; surely a presidential first.

P.P.S.  We sang “Ding-dong, the witch is dead,” as Bush got onto his helicopter and a Dutch friend said that to understand America, you really have to know the Wizard of Oz–that it’s THE iconic American movie.  Wonder if that’s true?


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January 2009