(Washington, DC) – The promise of Obama was seen in the eyes of a young man who was carried on the shoulders of a father, in the eyes of people who lay like a carpet stretched from the base of the Capitol to the expanse of the nation’s mall and into the many homes and hamlets not seen nor heard.
Unlike the first Inauguration I didn’t have a front row seat, I was in the crowd which seemed surreal. There were families, there were young and old people, gay people, foreign born and many yet to be born. “I want to take a look at this one more time,” said the President as he exited the stage.
The theme of today was “WE.” “We the people declare today that most evident of the truths - that all of us are created equal is the star that guides us still,” according to the President. There were a number of references to “WE” in the speech. There was also a sense that we are all in this together. It’s part of the fabric that binds us together.
The American quilt was expanded in the President’s Inauguration Speech. To mention Selma, Seneca Falls, and Stonewall (a gay bar where a riot broke out in New York) in the same breath, broke with the past. Gay rights are out of the third world. From woman’s rights, to immigration rights, he’s speaking to a rising majority.
Once again this was not about the President, it was about the people. Why have they responded, and is this the end? The people in this audience have brought forth a political juggernaut that his critics cannot beat back with money or media biases. This is the "Age of Obama." He has another four years that will make him a historical figure that people will point to as people look at President Ronald Reagan. Enjoy the moment, because for as much as you will remember this age, it will not come around again.
Taking it All End
There is nothing like finding precious gems on an event like this. I find stories within stories. From the out of towners asking for directions to being able to share the moment with a young journalist. I'm always impressed by the multiple entrepreneurs who find ways to make a buck. From bars having specialty events tied into the Inauguration and of course the street vendors.
Lastly, the person who always listens to my experiences on the road was with me on this trip. My wife, Robbie, has endured my endless stories from my first meeting with Barack Obama, being on the front row for the first Obama Inauguration, and often looks over the things I write. She got the experience firsthand on this trip.