Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"Our time for change has come."
The inauguration came faster than I expected. Initially I was disappointed that I would have class during the event, but once I arrived on campus I was informed that my class was cancelled. Now, I didn't have time to go home to watch the inauguration, so I tromped over to Kingsbury Hall, hoping there would still be some (free) tickets so I could watch it on the big screen in that old theater. Luckily, there were a few left, so I ventured in, by myself, and sat between some complete strangers.
The mood in the hall was energetic. Although the footage was already playing and the commentary started, people were abuzz with anticipation. As various political figures descended the stairs, there was either mutual applause or silence, you can probably guess for whom. Something about being there, watching with all those other people, was invigorating, and infinitely better than it would have been had I watched alone. I was doing fine until Sasha and Malia came out with their grandmother. I don't know why that was so moving to me, but after that the floodgates were opened. When President Obama appeared on the screen, the entire audience rose to their feet, and cheered for probably 5 minutes, it was fantastic. tears streamed down my cheeks throughout the entire program. I cried when Aretha sang, and during the performance of Simple Gifts. I cried during the poem, I cried during Obama's inspiring address. I stayed for the Radio West panel discussion, and cried as two African-American children walked up to the microphone and expressed their excitement about the events of the day. Overall the experience left me inspired, hopeful, incited to go do something. I now feel proud to be an American, and a renewed sense of patriotism. I'm looking forward to the next four years, and hope that it may be eight.