I couldn’t let today go by without putting some miscellaneous thoughts up here about the incredible events that occurred in Washington D.C. today.
I taught class this morning and took the quickest shower ever, so I could get my hair dry and apply my makeup before rushing to work to try to get a live feed on the internet. As I was driving, I was able to listen to Rick Warren’s inaugural invocation. Normally, invocations don’t thrill me, to be honest. Being a Jew, I can’t usually find anything to relate to in a traditional type of invocation. Today though, driving in my car from class to work, I was moved. Parts of it–not *all* of it, mind you–really touched me. And isn’t that what an invocation is supposed to do? I actually found myself a little teary-eyed. Weird! If you missed it and/or would like to read the transcript, click here.
In the car, I heard Aretha sing her heart out and tried to imagine her outfit as described by the person on the radio.
As I was pulling up to the salon, Joe Biden was sworn in. I knew I had to hurry if I was going to catch the big event. I rushed in the door and jumped online to see if I could catch a live feed. After a few tries of getting coverage but then seeing it freeze up because practically everyone in the universe was online at the time, I went to the deli that’s in our strip mall, where I missed the swearing in of President Obama but saw his speech in its entirety. With our regular UPS man. That was a bizarre element of the experience.
As always, I was moved by President Obama’s words. The entire transcript is here, in case you want to read it.
What a day. Seeing that sea of people standing in unity, peacefully, on the Mall was amazing. While most of them couldn’t hear or see what was going on, they wanted to be there for this incredible moment in history; I don’t blame them.
Though I recorded the festivities while we were all away from home today, I was pleased to hear that the boys saw the main parts at school. When I asked the younger boy what he saw, he said, “I saw the swearing in and his ‘acceptance speech’.” I asked what he thought of the speech, totally expecting to get a normal almost-14-year-old grunt and shoulder shrug, when he blew me away again. (Kids are unpredictable like that)
He said, “It was amazing; it gave me chills!” He was really moved by it and what is incredible to me is that at his young age where, thank goodness, he has not lived during a time of prejudice in his own little world, he still seemed to absorb some of the impact of this day.
Not to go back to, like the critics are saying, race. I think that, given the same charisma, vision, and all of that stuff, Obama would have been elected regardless of his color. But it can’t be ignored that he is our first African-American President. I am so happy for the children of the world: all of them. This is truly a new era.
I know that not all of you voted for him; I think that, regardless of who you voted for, we can all agree on this part of Rick Warren’s invocation:
“Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity.”