Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hail to the New Chief!

I sit here writing this as I listen to our new President give his inaugural speech on BBC America (I had to watch it again). Despite the fact that I have crappy dial up service, I felt that I had to weigh in on such a historic moment, a moment that I wish that my parents could have lived to see.
My paternal grandparents were British citizens, born in Barbados, who came to this country to have a better life for their children. In fact, my grandfather didn't become an American citizen until after my father and uncle were born. And now almost a hundred years after my father was born, an African-American man, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, and a young woman from Kansas, is now the 44th president of the United States.
The first President to be born in the 1960's, a president of my generation (how ironic that he was elected the 44th President, the year that I turned 44!). There are no words to describe how I felt standing downtown on Wall Street watching the ceremony on the jumbo screen. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried watching him stand so calmly in the capitol building waiting to be announced. And how I loved listening to Aretha Franklin sing "My Country tis of thee" sung to the tune of 'God Save the Queen,' which funnily enough BBC America didn't pick up on (the commentator called it our national anthem. Ah, no, that would be the Star Spangled Banner).
I looked through the crowd hoping to catch a glimpse of the lovely Leanna Heiber and her significant other, who won tickets to go to the inauguration through Chuck Schumer's office. I was also interested to see that members of Congress gave the new first family gifts. I wonder what New York got the Obamas!
I only have two quibbles. 1) Given how many Starbucks there are in the Wall Street area, they couldn't have sprung for some hot chocolate for all of us who were standing outside? and 2) if George H. W. Bush who had hip surgery could toddle his way to the inauguration, Dick Cheney couldn't hauled his ass out of his wheelchair.
God save our new President Barack H. Obama!

1 comment:

Kwana said...

Love the pic you picked. What a day!