I, like many other Americans, was moved on January 20, 2009 to express my joy and hope in the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Regardless if you voted for him or not, it was a historic moment in the relative young life of the United States of America.
It was especially poignant for me because I was raised in a small town in Southern Illinois that never had, nor to this current day, a black resident. My father, God rest and forgive his soul, was a complete racist, unless the black man played baseball (still can't figure that one out), who voted for George Wallace back in the 60's. I often bemuse myself in thinking what he would have done if he were still alive during this past election...because the only thing my father hated more than blacks,Arabs and Japenese, was Republicans, especially Bush Jr. He never voted anything but Democrat his whole life...so it would have been interesting to see if the ex-Navy man would have voted for fellow veteran McCain...or pulled the tab on Obama. Perhaps it was his great grace to have died before making such a momentous decision? But, I digress.
Back to the subject today...a Presidential Correspondence. On January 20 I was compelled to go to the Whitehouse web site, where President Obama's official (as opposed to personal) email address can be found. I sent him an email expressing my feelings and sharing some of the above, and concluded with a poem I wrote about the inauguration:
The colors of mankind
Collide on common ground
The Stars share the Stripes
Of those who built this place
A Great Society perched on a hill
Finds its Voice
No longer slaves to defeat
We all Dare to Dream Again
I did not expect a response; however, last night I was intrigued when checking my email the following showed up: The Whitehouse-Presidential Correspondence....subject: Thank you for your message. WOW! So, I would like to share my email from President Obama!
Dear David Wells:
Thank you for your recent note, and for sharing your thoughts with me. Your kind words echo the messages of millions of Americans who have welcomed me and my family to the White House with an outpouring of goodwill.
On January 20th, Americans spoke with one voice, choosing hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. Our Nation faces serious challenges, but we will overcome them if our imagination is joined to common purpose.
Now is our time to work together, reaffirm our enduring spirit, and choose our better history. With your help, we will renew our Nation's promise to carry forth the great gift of freedom to future generations, as our forebears have delivered it to us.
Perhaps now we need to invite President Obama to join our ranks? Choosing hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord, overcoming challenges with our imagination joined to a common purpose. Sounds like the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale to me!
Sir Hook the Proud & Hopeful American Who is Choosing a Better History of Warrick