Saturday, January 17, 2009

Presidential Inauguration 2009

Hopefully you will excuse me for getting slightly political, as I try not to go too far down that road on this blog. However, history is being made in the next few days—history steeped in the rich tradition of Washington D.C. and every president since the First Inauguration in 1789.

No matter what your political affiliation or views, I am sure we all sense the significance of the inauguration about to take place of President Obama. The historical setting of Washington D.C., the proximity of the inauguration to Martin Luther King Day, to the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and, most of all, to the challenges before us—will hopefully bring forth a resurgence of "Americanism" and participation as we grapple with the difficult days ahead. We will still have much in the way of disagreement and debate and that is as it should be, for it sets America apart from despots and kings. However, let us make it a discourse more steeped in the common good rather then a pundit’s television or radio ratings or the selling of a new book. We need to temper both the extreme right and extreme left and seek the common ground toward the middle if we are to move down the road to a more prosperous and peaceful America and world—a road that must intersect Main Street, Wall Street and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

As my son, Joe, heads off for the inaugural in Washington D.C., I think back to the days when I shared his youthful exuberance and political awakening with the election of John F. Kennedy and the later presidential run of Robert Kennedy. In both cases, other forces snatched away that enthusiasm and hope, something all too similar and rooted in our own family history. Growing up in the 1960’s was certainly a time of great social upheaval, as were the 1930's/40’s for my mother and father before me and now for my children in a still just dawning 21st Century. Evil will always lurk in the world, and fears will linger in the back of ones mind. Nevertheless, dulled memories have been awakened once again and, for the first time in decades, I too feel the hope that has come alive through my children. I wish President Obama, Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all of us success as we enter a new era in American politics and seek to re-establish a legacy of leadership, respect, prosperity and peace at home and abroad—for ourselves, our children and future generations.

President Obama will use President Lincoln's Bible at the Inauguration. (The Abraham Lincoln Blog)

For a little more Washington D.C. history with a family connection, go to:
National Capital Centennial - Program from 1900

Commemorative Medal Give to Governor Steunenberg on 12/12/1900

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