Saturday, June 22, 2024

Change is on the way: Obama prepares to take the oath of office

January 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

At last, January is here when we are exhaling to embrace our new president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.  This once unreal thought is now coming into clear reality: Obama is our 44th president. Many of us have waited much too late to have secured our flights, bus tickets and/or JOY rides to Washington, D.C., to witness history as Obama recites the presidential oath:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The economic downturn might be holding a tight grip on those extra dollars that could possibly make your trip to Washington, D.C., happen. Nonetheless, what we can do is build those momentous experiences from testimonies and inaugural activities that have occurred from the past to give us a glimpse into this magical time. You might ask yourself or someone might ask you, “What is the inauguration?”
The president’s inauguration is the official day that the president of the United States is sworn into office. The purpose of the inauguration is to honor the incoming president with formal ceremonies, including a presidential swearing-in ceremony, an inaugural address, and an inaugural parade.
We have all heard that the tickets to the inauguration are hotter than a one-time Maze featuring Frankie Beverly concert ticket; wanted by many and sold out. According to the Internet, the tickets are out sold and unaffordable for many to ever grasp.  Washington insiders are quick to distance themselves from those Internet scalpers who are taking advantage of this royal celebration by charging upward of $3,000 per ticket.  Well, the real deal is that tickets to the 56th inaugural ceremonies are provided free and distributed through members of Congress. Anyone interested in attending the inaugural ceremonies should have contacted his or her member of Congress.
Our U.S. senator, Harry Reid (Senate majority leader), had the following comments about the inauguration:
“After so much anticipation, Jan. 20, 2009, will become a remarkably historic date as Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.  This day will exemplify one of the fundamental characteristics of our great democracy, and peaceful transfer of power from on leader to another.  But this day also becomes a shining example of the potential for all American citizens.  Obama’s unprecedented rise to the presidency is a testament to the will of the people and the power of the American dream.
“Obama’s decisive and overwhelming victory has proven that the people of the United States are hungry for change.  Millions of voters, including hundreds of thousands of Nevadans, were reinvigorated by this election. I was proud to leverage my position as majority leader to help make Nevada an early caucus state in the presidential nominating process, ensuring that Nevadans’ voices would matter in this election. As a result, new voters registered in droves, tuned into politics in a way they never have before and volunteered for Obama. Because of a highly organized grass-roots campaign that put the people first, Obama enraptured the whole country and helped return Nevada to a blue state.
“For those of us who lived through the civil rights movement, the election of our first black president is poignant and moving. For African-Americans, Obama’s victory is a particularly proud moment in history and another major achievement of the black community.
“I’m proud of Congress’ accomplishments last year and look forward to passing more legislation that benefits Nevada’s working families.  As the country faces many challenges, Obama’s inauguration, coupled with a new Congress focused on bipartisan cooperation, are cause for optimism that the United States will get back on track. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to make President-elect Obama’s vision for change a reality.”
Oh yes, we can’t forget our first lady Michelle Obama and her beautiful girls, Malia and Sasha, who will most definitely bring new rise to the celebration and to the global image of the black family.  Michelle Obama will stand at her husband’s side with that sturdy but invisible mirroring, “I love my husband,” as he takes his presidential oath at noon on Jan. 20, 2009, in front of the U.S. Capitol. With his right hand on the Bible and his left hand raised, the onlooking sea of thousands of people will be silenced by the loud thunder of history making its stand.
Smiles and tears of hope will moisten the moment and give new growth to all American possibilities. The orchestra of hands clapping will be rhythmically penetrating to the ears of our ancestors who have long gone by and who have contributed to making this day ring for the world to hear.  We celebrate those African-Americans who will play a prominent role in the historic inauguration ceremony, such as:
Elizabeth Alexander, who is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher.  Alexander has published four books of poems and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.  She is currently a professor of African-American Studies at Yale University.  Her participation in the ceremony will make her only the forth poet to read at a Presidential Inauguration; Aretha Franklin is often described as “The Queen of Soul.”
In a career spanning more than 50 years, she has earned a reputation as one of the greatest singers of our time.  Franklin has won 21 Grammy Awards, including the Living Legend Grammy and the Lifetime Achievement Grammy; The Reverend Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery is an esteemed leader of the civil rights movement, co-founder along with Martin Luther King Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and served as president and chief executive officer from 1977 to January 15, 1998.  Rev. Lowery will present the benediction during the ceremony; Anthony McGill is the principal clarinetist of the New York Metropolitan Orchestra, a member of the Peabody
Conservatory faculty in clarinet, and much sought after soloist and chamber musician.  McGill will perform a piece composed by John Williams along with cellist, Yo Yo Ma, pianist, Gabriela Montero, and violinist Itzhak Pearlman.   President Obama told us this day would come.  Many didn’t believe or conceive it could ever be possible, and even our 50 cent was late on the dollar.  Well, like Steve Wonder would say, “Signed, sealed, delivered,” Barrack is YOURS.
President Obama did make you his friend.  For whatever reason, he came to us either in trial or error, but he came.  Those Obama’ messages on our computer said, “Hello,” each and every day we sat to connect with our emails.  A little bit of trivia will tell you that President Bill Clinton was the first US President to first broadcast his inaugural ceremony on the Internet in 1997. We have come a long way baby. President Obama showed the world how to raise millions in campaign funds and to how to connect directly with the new and establish voter.  This new face (book) has set a new standard for political campaigning throughout the world.  Pennsylvania Avenue will never be the same after the Inaugural Parade drives a new awakening in the hearts and minds of all Americans that CHANGE IS A COM’N!

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