Wednesday, January 21, 2009
As is so often the case, Patricia has summed up beautifully what so many of us felt as we watched the inauguration. Here is her reflection on yesterday's events:
Inauguration Day 2009
Inauguration Day 2009
by Patricia Lay-Dorsey
Like millions of people around the world, I spent hours in front of my TV set today. Much of it with tears rolling down my cheeks. Occasionally sobbing aloud. Often grinning from ear to ear at the same tiime. What can I say? This was the most emotional inauguration of my long life, more so even than John Kennedy's in 1961, the first presidential vote I ever cast.
And why was it so emotional? For me, the fact of a black man being sworn in as President of the United States was enough. But add to that a man of character, intelligence, maturity, honesty and compassion, a man who offers our beleagured country a message of hope and sees his role as one of helping us rejoin the global community. Well, it's no surprise that there were few dry eyes around the world.
As Laurie Brown just said on "The Signal," her nightly radio show on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company), "It didn't feel like just an American event; it was a global event." I received an email tonight from my photographer friend Reimar Ott who lives in a small town in Germany. He and his mother watched it live on TV and he said they both wept.
It was just that sort of day. Now maybe our communal tears were partly tears of relief that the Bush years are finally over. I'm sure there's some of that in it. But really it is more about the sense of hope that President Obama--my first time writing that!--personifies in his very being.
Don't worry. I'm not idolizing him. I already see important areas where he and I differ. I know I will be a dissenting voice in the months and years to come. But that's good. That shows my willingness to be a critical thinker and to analyze things for myself. And I know Barack Obama does the same. That's one of the things I like and respect about him. I know we're in for a rough number of years. But at least I won't feel ashamed of my country, as I've felt every day for the past eight years. At least I know if our president makes a mistake, he'll reflect on it, admit it, apologize, and try to change what can be changed.
Tonight I feel as though I'll sleep more soundly than I have in years.