Sunday, January 18, 2009
Tuesday ushers in hope, hard work
Where will you be when Barack Obama is sworn in as our new president on Tuesday?
If you’re like millions of Americans, you’ll either be in Washington, D.C., or glued to your television set.
The excitement over this inauguration is unlike any we’ve seen in many, many years.
And with good reason.
Our country is in crisis mode on many fronts these days: wars still rage on, service people are dying, the economy is caving in around us, our futures seem shaky at best, jobs are disappearing, businesses are closing and there are so many vital environmental problems that we face.
Many people have been gravely disappointed — well, really, disgusted — with the current administration and what has been wrought during the past eight years.
And so they are pinning their hopes on Barack Obama.
It’s almost as if they are elevating him to savior status, and that is both dangerous and unrealistic.
But the swearing in of our first African-American president, coming the day after we commemorate Martin Luther King Day, is most definitely a momentous occasion.
People have every right to be excited and filled with hope, regardless of political leanings.
We need someone who will bring this country together and lead with fairness and integrity.
We need someone with a vision of how we can once again secure our place as a leader on the world stage.
We need someone who will prioritize the issues plaguing us, work to right the state of our economy and relate to the people he serves.
Obviously, at this point, the voters have stated loudly and clearly that Barack Obama is the man who can best handle a job of this magnitude.
No, he is not a miracle worker.
No, we will not see the economy turn on a dime the day he takes office.
No, he will not be able to end the war in a week and bring peace to the world.
But he offers us hope that he will do his very best to bring America back to the status of a country that cares about its people, does not initiate war, does not torture war prisoners, creates jobs and pays down its debt.
The list, needless to say, goes on and on.
Obama will need to be surrounded by wise counsel and supported by the American people as he tackles these issues.
We’ll all be showing that support on Tuesday, as we, the American people, watch in hope while he takes the oath of office, cheer as the inaugural parade passes by and drink in the pomp and circumstance of the day’s events.
A momentous day awaits us all on Tuesday.
And years of hope — and hard work — stretch out ahead.