Oh Happy Day!

by Wendy Copley on January 20, 2009

20/365

I am so proud to be an American today! So very, very proud. I haven’t been able to wipe the grin off my face all day long. President Obama isn’t actually the candidate I was supporting at the beginning of the election (Kucinich!), but he is who I voted for in both the primary and the general election. Obviously, I’m thrilled that my candidate won, but I’m also proud that my country elected an African-American president. My friend Evan pointed out today that 150 years ago, 11 states seceded on the election of an anti-slavery president. Today, 79% of Americans support our black leader. I wondered if I would see this day in my life time and now it has come.

I made a point of having both boys watch the actual swearing in with me. We don’t have a TV, so we watched on my laptop on the kitchen table. Wyatt asked questions and I think he got the gist of it, if not all the details. (“Is Rock Obama our new king, Mama?”) Augie didn’t really understand it either, I don’t think. đŸ˜‰ But some day, I’ll be able to have a conversation with them about the history they witnessed today, what went before and what this means to our country.

I was heartened by the President’s inaugural address and I found it filled me with…yes…wait for it…hope. Hope that some of the violence perpetrated by and against our country will come to an end. Hope that our privacy and civil liberties will be restored (besides my husband’s conviction that that will never happen to his satisfaction). Hope that science, logic and reason will prevail. I loved this line:

We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.

And I was impressed by this one as well:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.

A shout-out to agnostics and atheists! An acknowledgement that people of all beliefs should be respected! Cool.

The tide is turning. No matter how this turns out in the end, there’s no doubt things are going to change around here.

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