A Good Head on His Shoulders Isn't Everything He's Got

Yesterday morning, I woke up and turned on the television. I flipped the channel to CNN so I could start watching the inauguration activities.

That's right. I pretty much spent the entire day watching CNN. Call me what you will, I don't care. Yesterday was a historic event and I didn't want to miss it.

Just before the actual inauguration, I rushed over to my grandma's house. I threw the door open to see her sitting at her dining room table. The radio was blasting some crappy country song and she was licking an envelope.

"You're not watching???"

"Watching what?"

No joke.

I grabbed the remote and curled up in a chair to continue my day of watching speeches. She told me about how all politicians are crooks. And then she headed back to her bedroom.

"Is this on every channel???"

No, really. "Of course!"

"You mean my soaps won't be on???"

I guess maybe she's been around for enough of these that they don't seem like a big deal anymore. But this one seemed really important to me for several reasons.

First, this is our first African American President.

I hope that's not all anyone remembers years from now. I hope he ends up as one of our greatest presidents ever. That he goes down in history as the guy who united us and pulled us out of the gutter.

But I know for a lot of people, it's the number one reason this was a huge event. These people fought for the right to sit where they want on a bus. They really had to fight for their lives. And now, within one lifetime, they're seeing a black man educated at the best universities, married to an equally smart and gorgeous woman, with a seemingly well-adjusted and happy family; who is respected and even adored be sworn into the highest office in our country.

Second, never in my lifetime has the country been so excited to welcome a new president. I wonder if DC was prepared for the huge number of people that flocked to see Obama take office.

The energy there was amazing. If I were any of the speakers at the ceremony, I probably would have taken one look and been shocked speechless. I don't think anyone could even see the end of the crowd from the stage.

And it wasn't just the United States watching. The whole world was listening.

Third, I couldn't wait to see ol' Georgie waving goodbye.

For those of you who didn't have the luxury of staying home to watch it live, I've posted a video. And for those of you too lazy to watch, here's a few nuggets I enjoyed:

We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
Ouch, Georgie!
And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
That is what the world has been waiting to hear.
We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
I hope everyone had a great night. Because today, work begins.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
And first on Michelle's list: Teach your brother how to stifle a yawn!

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