On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
~President Barack Obama
The words resonated across the auditorium of All-American Public Schools’ administration building. And we were indeed gathered, having rushed there from our desks and from previously-scheduled meetings to catch this moment of history.
I live in a very red state. Though I am not alone among those in my office in having supported Barack Obama, it’s obvious, even without an official poll, that I’m definitely in the minority. Which made it even more exciting to watch the interest with which everyone listened to President Obama’s inaugural address. Even those who would have preferred to be ushering in a different administration, seemed honestly open to what Mr. Obama had to say and hopeful that he could deliver on the hopes and dreams on which his campaign capitalized.
And in their reactions, I saw the truth of these words
They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
Indeed, it’s time to put aside our differences, to face the challenges before us.
With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Tonight, I’m ready to move forward, to play whatever part in the change that’s needed to guarantee those freedoms to my children and to their children. And I look forward to the day, 40 years or so in the future, when I can tell my grandchildren that I did indeed vote for President Obama. That I shed tears watching him take the oath of office using Lincoln’s Bible. And that that moment made a difference for all of us.