It has been almost 48 hours since Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America and I am still reeling from the emotion, pagentry, symbolism - everything about the day. I, along with my 66 year old mother and 89 year old grandmother, sat glued to the TV from 8:00a until late into the night. (They stayed up later than me because (1) I got up at 5:00a to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner so it would be ready WHENEVER anyone wanted to eat; and (2) I needed rest for the drive back to the airport the morning after.)
I have always voted in the Presidential elections - my dad told me early on: If you don't vote, you have no voice - and picture me with no voice! Horror of horrors! BUT I have never in my life watched the inaugural proceedings that would put the person I voted for (or didn't vote for)into office. Just wasn't interested. But this time, cell phone was ignored, I was away from the computer, and I yelled at my brother Kevin when he called at 11:45a just to say, "are you watching?" Of course, I was watching! What a knucklehead!
CNN News asked viewers, people there in DC and at home, to take a picture of what they were doing at "THE MOMENT" Barack was sworn in. I aimed my camera at the TV and the picture attached is the outcome of my moment. [It was the ONLY picture that I took on the TV that came out - the rest (of the parade, of Michelle and the girls, of the Obamas and Bidens watching the Bushes leave the Capitol) all came out blurry and out of focus.]
The whole world was watching as history took place. And whether you agree with his political agenda, whether you thought his speech was inspiring or insipid, whether you liked Michelle's dress or not - for the 20+ minutes that he was speaking, he had our undivided attention. And as I watched, I thought (again), he's a rock star. He is a cultural icon. For the next four years (maybe 8), he is the "face of America".
Now the real work begins. The hard tasks in front of him are daunting. Two wars, global financial crisis, health care, global warming, the education system, the housing crisis, joblessness, hopelessness, despair - all rest on his (as one commentator put it: very well defined) shoulders. He cannot do it without our prayers, support and help. As he said in his speech, it is time for us to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and get to work. I am prayerful that we, as a country - UNITED in our goals - will do just that. We have come together before in times of great hardship and crisis, we can do it again. I have hope. I have faith. I have confidence. Don't you?