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.