From my room at the Lodge of Oxmoor it was easy to decide between lunch or the inauguration of our President. I sit here absorbing the words of America’s leaders like a sponge. The words are…. our President BARACK H. OBAMA.
I remember, in 1936, my mother decided it was far more important for me to listen to the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt then to go to school. We sat together by the Atwater Kent table radio and listened intently to his every word. He had been reelected to a second term as President.
My mother worked at hard jobs to make a home for my brother and I. She revered FDR as a savior of the working class. She also raised us to study our government and how it was meant to serve our people. She was not the most educated person as far as school years but my mom had an astute political mind. She instilled a love of politics in me and love and respect for our government and President, regardless if Democrat or Republican. She told me, once elected, they are neither Democrat or Republican, they are America’s President and should be respected as such.
So today, January 21, 2013, at the age of 88, I honor our President Obama. I also honor the memory of my mother, who made me love learning.
As I watch today, I know she would have been amazed to actually be seeing the inauguration sitting in her own living room. She would have been equally moved and thankful to see the diversity of the crowd and the participants in the ceremony and proud of the fact that an African-American is our President. She was so impatient with the slow progress of acceptance of minorities in our country. She always reminded us that if you disrespect another human being you disrespect yourself. I can tell you the wrath of the unspeakable would descend upon you if she ever heard the N………word come out of our mouths. It just wasn’t allowed.
As I watched the chairs fill with dignitaries awaiting the arrival of the President for the inauguration, as I watched the crowd of thousands across the Mall, a blend of America, as I listened to the beautiful Tabernacle Choir, the ever wonderful voice of James Taylor; as I saw the smiles of all the people being kind to each other, I felt the warmth of the glorious sun as if I was standing in their midst on Pennsylvania Avenue.
I hope you felt true hope for the future of our country in some part of today’s events. If not, you are the loser, and I can only say that our country deserves better from its citizens.