Today we say good-bye to Bush 43 and welcome to the 44th President of The United States of America. It's a great day in American history! The first Black President (though he is also half white, which the prejudiced person conveniently ignores) of the U.S. Here in the Midwest, I am already hearing prejudiced jokes about Obama in the Whitehouse like, "Their getting rid of the rose garden and planting a watermelon patch." It reminds me of Clinton's Inauguration speech when he said, "Nothing big comes from being small!"
Inauguration Day comes on the heals of Martin Luther King Day, the day that celebrates the man who gave his great "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Lincoln stands proud behind both of these great men of our nation, a nation that he led through a difficult period in history that helped to make this day possible.
King was prophetic from the beginning of speech when he said, "I am happy to join you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."
Other great speeches on this day, which go beyond the brief historic sound bite, echo in the hope that we now have for our country's future! Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." John F. Kennedy in 1961, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what American will do for you, but what we can do together for the freedom of man."
A forgotten speech, one that I believe fits very well for today, was delivered by Gerald Ford in 1974 after the Watergate scandal. It mirrors the mess that Nixon, and now Bush, left this country in. Ford states, "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. As we bind up our wounds, let us apply the Golden Rule to our political process and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and hate."
Abraham Lincoln ended his Inauguration speech with words of poetry and hope for us that still ring true today, "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
God bless American and God bless President Barrack Hussein Obama!
Sir Hook the Proud and Hopeful American of Warrick