Inauguration Day dawns over the shoulder of Mount Tabor outside of my bedroom window. Those of you who are paying attention will note that this should technically be photo number 20 but if you’re paying that close attention, then you’ll also realise that I haven’t stuck strictly to one photo each day.
I did a lot of thinking as I was parked in front of the tv yesterday with the Man, watching the inauguration. Reagan was the first president to move the inauguration ceremonies from the east side to the west side of the Capitol. Even though the ceremony begins in late morning, I would imagine that the west side of the Capitol would be getting more winter sun at that point than the east side. There’s also much more room on the west side for spectators since the west lawn runs down to the U.S. Grant memorial and then to the National Mall. And how amazing was it yesterday to see that sea of people on the National Mall?
What a weight on his shoulders. Not only the need to fix the economy and the nation’s standing in the world and two wars and health care and education and and and…but also to inspire a nation to greatness and to the belief that things are not as impossible as they seem.
As he said the night of the election, ‘If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.’ A student of history, I am perhaps more susceptible than others to the power of the past, to the romance of founding documents and idealistic founding fathers. Still, the very fact that a skinny kid with a funny name has grown up to be the President of the United States of America, a nation whose Constitution would have originally counted him as only 3/5 of a person, is quite astounding and, one hopes, speaks to the strength of the Union and the progress that we as a nation have made.
I think he’s got the inspiration bit down. As for the rest of it, only time will tell. He was pretty forceful, if eloquent, in his repudiation of the last eight years in his inaugural address. I almost expected him to turn around and stick his tongue out at W to underscore how much he plans to change things.
So, a picture of dawn on what I hope is a new dawn for a nation where all things are possible.