"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."
--President Barack Obama
So the day has finally arrived: Barack Obama is now the President of the United States.
President Barack Obama. I like the sound of that. President Obama.
This was a work day for me, but you could tell things were different around the city, around the country, around the world.
I walked by Wall Street on my lunch hour and saw a crowd of people standing before a giant TV screen mounted by the New York Stock Exchange watching Barack Obama being sworn in.
Trinity Church, just a block away, had speakers set up outside so people could hear the Inauguration, and there was a TV inside for those who had time to watch.
This is truly a great day for America. We have sworn in our first African-American president, a young man who promises change and hope. We need a lot of both around here.
President Obama will be inheriting an economy in shambles and a world in dire conditions. I hope--I truly pray--he can handle this incredible burden.
I thought it was particularly moving when, during his speech, the new president recalled the dark days of the Revolutionary War.
He quoted George Washington:
"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."
I thought of a trip I made to Valley Forge as a Cub Scout, where Washington endured those terrible days and nights. We were just kids, so, to be honest, the story had very little meaning to us back then.
Now, though, I see that we are once again in dark times. I know we came through those times before and we will do it again.
It's going to be tough. The new president will have to make unpopular decisions and he will have his every move examined and attacked by a right wing media machine that spreads lies wrapped up in the American Flag.
They helped get us into the current mess, but that hasn't slowed them down at all. President Obama must get the truth out before these scoundrels can tear it limb from limb.
I don't want to say much about President Obama's predecessor, but I must confess that when I saw the now thankfully former president pause to wave before entering the helicopter that would take him away from public life, I began screaming at my television.
"Get out!" I shrieked. "Go, damn it, go! Nobody is going to miss you! Just go, you imbecile!"
I sounded like Ralph Kramden yelling at Ed Norton and I wanted to hurl my shoes at my TV. But I refrained.
I believe that before moving into the White House, President Obama should get a priest, a rabbi, a mullah, a shaman, a Buddhist monk, a witch doctor and any other holy figure to say prayers, cast out demons and do whatever else they need to do to cleanse 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue of all the lingering evil left behind by the Texas Fool.
But enough of this negativity. Today is a day for celebration. Tomorrow the real work begins.