Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thoughts on the inauguration

My daughter, who lives in the DC area,emailed me sending pictures of the festivities. She, her husband, his sister and another friend made the pilgramage. This was not their first inauguration. A couple of presidents back, they had seats in the capitol area, thanks to a friendly congressman. But this time it was very different.

They had use of a condo in Arlington. They spent Monday night there. Tuesday morning, they bundled up and walked almost 3 miles in the freezing cold, to the Lincoln Memorial, where they watched on a jumbotron.

From the memorial, they were over a mile away from the actual ceremonies. Why make that effort? Their answer: It was such a historic occasion that they wanted to be a part of it.

These are not starry-eyed young Liberals. Jennifer, my daughter, is a Research Specialist at the Library of Congress. Chris, her husband, is a Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins. If anything, they are a bit conservative. Yet, they felt it was that important. At the memorial, they met people who had traveled from Atlanta, again just to be there.

Sitting in the comfort of my home, where the temperature was nowhere near that in Washington, I could but faintly sense the electricity, the enthusiasm, the feeling of positive change in the air.

Maybe you had to be black, and be there to fully appreciate the moment. It was an experience we may never witness again. But, oh my! Wasn't it something?

1 comment:

Glenda C. Beall said...

It was indeed a historic moment, Al and if I had been a young person and had the means to be there, I'd probably have tried. How often do we get to be a part of history? I know you daughter will always remember this.

As one little boy in Atlanta said, "This is the only time we'll ever have 'the first black man' elected president."