Yesterday this country inaugurated its 44th president. Millions of people showed up in Washington D.C. to watch Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois become President Barack Obama.
Inaugurations are a time of great change and also of great hope, and this is what President Obama tried to instill in all of us yesterday during his speech.
In the face of a faltering economy, two wars, the threat of terrorism, global warming and a myriad of other social problems, President Obama said we must rely on the history of this great country and remember that we the people have come through hard times before, that our country will survive.
It won’t be easy, and a lot of the work will fall on our shoulders. As the President said in his inauguration speech, “with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents and endure what storms may come.”
He went on to say the skeptics must realize the world is changing, and we must change with it, or be left behind. We cannot let great challenges make us cower and falter, he said.
He also asked us to have faith in our government.
“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works . . .” We the people are the government, and we are the ones that decide if it will work for us. To do this, the President said it is time to “set aside childish things,” such as partisanship, intolerance and all the other differences, and work toward a better day. He said it is our differences that is our greatest strength, not our weakness, and it is our differences that make us a great country.
Now is the time for hope, faith, courage, and above all, hard work.
As St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Smith said after watching the inauguration speech, “Today is a day to celebrate the greatness of the United States of American and our Constitution. Tomorrow, we get to work.”
It’s time to come out of the darkness of pessimism and into the light of great accomplishment.