It doesn't matter how you view Barack Obama. You can like him, dislike
him, believe he's the Second Coming, or believe he's the Antichrist.
Or you can be completely indifferent. But there's one thing to be
sure...today, when he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United
States, that was a historical moment. Certainly something I didn't
expect to see, perhaps even in my lifetime.
Anyhow, because this was such an historic moment, I wanted CJ & Anna a chance to see it too. We happened to be at the Ice Rink today at noon. Fortunately, there were multiple TV screens in the lobby of the rink. Adjacent to the lobby is a game room where the girls like to play. After we finished skating and got all of our skates off and put away, the girls ducked into the game room to play (or pretend to play) the video games. At just about noon, I realized that they were getting ready for the swearing in ceremony. So, I called CJ & Anna into the lobby (more importantly, out of the game room) to watch Barack Obama get sworn in as President.
To their credit, they came without much fuss, and I directed them to watch the swearing in of the new President.
Immediately after the words "So help me God." and "Congratulations, Mr. President." were uttered,
CJ turns to me and asks: "Can I go play NOW?"
I've been assured by my friends that years from now, my girls will thank me for "making" them watch that historic moment.
I think back and remember a similar experience in my childhood. I was probably about the age between CJ & Anna, perhaps 4 or 5. I don't remember exactly. However, I do remember my Mother rousing me out of a sound sleep very early one morning. She was so excited and I remember wondering just what the big deal was? Anyhow, she sat me in front of the TV, and I remember seeing some fuzzy black & white pictures. All the time, I just remember thinking "What's the big deal? Can I just go back to sleep now?"
Looking back, I'm pretty sure I was awakened to see Apollo 11 launching. And that was definitely an historic event. And nearly 40 years later, I still remember seeing it, through fuzzy memories and black & white TV images, I still remember. It was an historic moment and I did get to witness it, in my own small, childlike way.
And this, I hope, is what my girls will remember--that they did see the moment when Barack Obama became the nation's first President who comes from an African heritage. I believe that this will be one of those "Where were you when..." defining moments. You know, like "What were you doing when you heard Kennedy was shot?" Or when the Pope was shot? Or when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up on launch? Or when the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001? Regardless of how one might feel about Barack Obama, it is an indication that here, In the United States, anything really IS possible. Regardless of what other problems we might face in this country, we still live in a country full of possiblities and dreams, and nothing is impossible.