Wednesday, January 21, 2009

US, World Welcome the Obamas

The Obamas wave to those along inaugural parade route.

Era of New Beginnings

US, World Welcome the Obamas

An unprecedented 1.8 million people braving bone-chilling weather and waving a sea of American flags assembled on the National Mall in Washington, DC, while 38 million around the country and the world joined the celebration via telecast as Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th President of the United States.

A roll call of American public servants participated in the extraordinary, ritualistic procedure in which the first African American president proclaimed a new era of individual and collective responsibility the cornerstone, price, and promise of citizenship. See CNN's Let Freedom Ring montage by Peter Turnley.

Reflecting a sense of history and the investment many feel they have in this new and very different president, the inaugural speech was also addressed to the global audience watching "from the grandest capitals to the small village in which my father was born."

THUMBS UP - Sasha shows her approval after
her father's speech. Her sister Malia continued
chronicling events with a digital camera.

My attempt to choose a favorite passage from President Obama's speech resulted in no less than four segments. How about you? The full transcript can be read here.

The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. [snip]

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. [snip]

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.

We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. [snip]

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

An interesting "morning after" link is ReadWriteWeb's Word Cloud Analysis of inaugural speeches by Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, and Lincoln.

Right on schedule, a new White House website --
Change Has Come to America -- was rolled out at high noon Tuesday. Technically, President Obama became the leader of the country at the same time. However, the inagural ceremony ran late and he didn't take the oath of office until several minutes later.

INAUGURATION DAY: The clickable photos below present a capsule of Tuedays inaugural activities. Included are a panorama view of the Capitol, 1; the oath of office with the Lincoln Bible, 2; a collage by Fountaindawg commemorating the event's connection to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 3; Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill with President and Mrs. Obama, 4; and the First Couple dancing at the Neighborhood Ball, 5. (AP/Getty Photos)

Inauguration Resonates Worldwide

Following the inaugural speech, reports of joy and jubilation rolled in from Kenya and Indonesia where the new president has family ties to Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. World-wide celebrations are reflected in the slide show accompanying this article.

Global Headlines

For days, cable network hosts have quizzed individuals gathered in Washington to experience the phenomenon in person, "Why are you here?" To which a couple from Sweden replied, "We think Barack Obama brings back the meaning of what it's all about for the whole world. Yes, we can!"

Another exclaimed, "We're all going in the same direction, and we're going there together!"

Dancing to "At Last" sung by Beyonce, the First Couple took a spin around the floor at the Neighborhood Ball, the first of 10 on their schedule. Mrs. Obama's gown was created by 26-year-old designer Jason Wu.

Changing America Together

In brief remarks, President Obama said the Neighborhood Ball, which reaches out to residents of Washington, DC, signifies how we as Americans are bound together and best captures the spirit of the campaign. "Together, we are going to change America!"

Founded by TV producer/philanthropist Norman Lear, Born Again American is committed to the rebirth and re-expression of citizenship through informed and thoughtful activism. Check out the website and add your signature if you would like to recommit to the country.

On January 20, the new president made history. Wednesday he goes to work, symbolized in itispersonal's montage of Clay Aiken singing Weight of the World from his On My Way Here CD.

Barack Obama: Weight of the World

Here's to changing America together!


The Obamas

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zanyforclay said...

Wonderful blog and so very informative! It certainly is a day to remember!

Dolly said...

Love this montage. Thanks!

Dolly said...

Love this montage. Thanks!

SueReu said...

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

This particular part of President Obama's speech resonates with me - not just the leaders of the globe, but also to the public at large.

On the whole, our society seems to have shifted to destroying rather than building. Our media seeks out the absolute negative rather than focusing on the positive - to tear people down rather than lifting them up.

My hope is that with renewed optimism, this tide will change (I think I may have a new blog idea!!)

Thank you so much Caro!! It's an exciting time for our country!!

Ashes said...

Fabulous blog Caro! This historic day has been summarized perfectly. Reading it reminded me of many things I saw on my TV, Thank You for helping me remember!

Now I to start clicking links, don't want to miss any of them :)

Ashes said...

What an awesome photo of President Obama and the First Lady Michelle!

Thanks for sharing!

IamMesmerized said...

Caro, I always read your blogs but I had to respond to this one. Although I'm not American and didn't have a chance to vote for this wonderful man, yesterday Neil Armstrong's words kept running through my mind ... one small step for man ... one giant leap for mankind.

God Bless the Obama family and God Bless America.

gerra said...

A great blog. I always look forward to reading your blogs.

Chardonnay said...

The whole series of events was magical. I have never been so proud to be an American. Thanks for a great blog!

Musicfan said...

Another great blog. This entire week has been wonderful and uplifting. I see things getting better and better.

MissSally said...

Your blog captures the essence of a great day for our country.
President Obama inspires hope and promise for our great nation.
May God bless his administration.