Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration day, take two -- a remarkable day unlike any other

How many of you sobbed yesterday? We desperately needed a catharsis after the last eight years. And especially after the last four maimed by bunker mentality, fear, despair and a governance vacuum.

Millions of Americans trekked to D.C. to witness President Obama's inauguration. Millions more breathed a collective sigh of relief (some openly taunted) as Bush flew away. The problems we face are immense. Our international reputation has been trashed. Our economy left in ruins. The lives of millions of us more tenuous than ever, as unemployment soars and foreclosures mount.

But, as of yesterday, we actually have a President willing to take on the role of leader and call us to conscience and responsibility as We the People. He recognizes we are a pluralistic society and seeks rational responses to national problems. He is willing to step into the position of a national symbol. He says he is humbled and I believe him.

I want to believe that our country is not permanently broken by the excesses and sins of the last eight years. I hope that we can redeem our reputation among nations. I pray that we can help each other, especially the least among us, find lives of dignity and purpose in this historically dismal economy.

I for one am ready to get up and try again. To do my best on behalf of all the people I love and people I don't even know. There's plenty of work to be done and, after yesterday, plenty of willing hands to pitch in.