Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Days of Hope and Virtue

It was a truly inspiring day. As I saw the great display of humanity between the Washington Obelisk and the Capitol, I imagined a great house welcoming all to share the same table. I felt very humble for the gifts I have received as a citizen of this great nation. I couldn't help but to shed a tear when in the midst of all the fanfare and protocol a brilliant quartet made of such luminaries as Yo Yo Ma, Itzak Perlman and Gabriela Montero performed the John Williams' evocative piece with the famous Copland refrains. I felt the dignity of freedom. Such are the times.

I have included the last paragraphs of President Obama's Inaugural speech as a reminder that we all posses the courage and commitment to construct a new society. This is a solemn day, full of promises and high hopes.

"...This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."
photos from top to bottom by: set, Miguel Valle Figuereido and il foto grafico.


willow said...

I loved hearing Simple Gifts. Happiness just oozed from Yo-Yo Ma as he played! President Obama's speech couldn't have been more inspiring. Lots of hope, smiles and tears here at the Manor today.

Suza said...

Didn't Yo-Yo Ma look ebullient (to use Willow's latest)? He appeared to be sailing as he gently swayed back and forth - such complete joy on his face.

As a Canadian, I felt the smiles, hope, love and happiness flowing over the border today. What an exciting time.

Suza said...

By the way, I don't have a blog but I do enjoy reading others... thank you for that opportunity.

Susan said...

I left you a comment a few comments back ... regarding Wuthering Heights etc...
What a fantastic day. Hooray !!

The Pink Cowboy said...

I have to admit I am all caught up in the drama of this historic occasion. I know new memories are being formed and I will look back to this day as an important one for our country. Wasn't that Yo Yo Ma performance so sublime, Willow?

tangobaby said...

I'm so glad you mentioned the music as well. I thought it was gorgeous and perfect for the occasion. I was in such a huge crowd and could not always see the giant screen, so I heard more than I saw. I plan to rewatch everything tonight and enjoy it all over again.

I feel like Obama is my first president, my first real vote. So happy.

Anonymous said...

Ah..cheers to our President. He carries himself like a king. Bravo PC for the brilliant post.

Ever Yours,
Clayrn Darrow

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with the man the very first time I heard him. That was 5 years ago...I just knew this day would come, he is something special and he will lead many to make great change. Change is in the air and has been for some time now and finally people are in positions of power who can accomplish the tasks required to move in a new direction with a higher purpose.
Namaste my friend.

Cynthia said...

I ran all over the university looking for a place to view the speech. I ended up watching it on a computer screen in 5" by 5" intimacy in a popup window! With one working earphone, I covertly listened to/watched the event while hoping the student worker didn't come over and tell me that there was no TV allowed in the research center. Somehow it made the entire ceremony more impacting. I'm overcome with pleasure at the course of these historical events. Somehow I feel that now I have more space to be who I am now that we have a president who shares/embraces diversity. Enjoyed the careful photo selection and the speech, TPC!

BTW I would like to read the 'praisesong' poem as there was a verse that spoke to my heart...it was about love and unity of vision.

High Desert Diva said...

Such a momentous day.....still grinning!

Anonymous said...

What a day of hope and energy. Let's come together and show the world our love of freedom and good will toward all.
The Bach