Like many of you, I planned my day yesterday around watching the inauguration activities. I flipped the TV on around 10:30 and took it all in for over three hours, then switched to radio for the sake of my young son’s sanity.
True confession time: LM4 was not content to sit next to me on the sofa and watch this historic event; nor was he happy with the Play-Doh or Legos I offered him … I let him play with his brother’s Nintendo DS for THREE HOURS. He was happy, I was happy; it was an exception to the way we usually do things around here, I’m moving on …
After President Obama took the Oath of Office I listened intently to his Inaugural Address. I won’t reproduce it in its entirety here, I just want to draw your attention to one section:
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
Concord?!? That’s where we live! Our town, already known for its literary history and its role in the American Revolution, was cited in President Obama’s speech! We were held up as an example of what people have done in the past to affect change.
“Little Man, did you hear that?!? He mentioned Concord!” I didn’t get the reaction I was hoping for, as he was intent on getting to the next level in the game he was playing. It was more satisfying to talk to my other kids when they came home from school. All three (starting with the youngest, in First Grade) had assemblies to watch part of the ceremonies, the swearing in, and the President’s address. They reported that there were shouts and cheers in their auditoriums when Concord was mentioned … it’s good to know they were paying attention!