I sat this morning with my four-year-old daughter and watched history in the making as we swore in our 44th president and our first African-American president. Curly was bummed that Super Why wasn't on, but she began to pay attention when I explained to her what was going on. We watched the dignitaries come down the blue-carpeted stairs and listened to the Marine Corps band. We heard Aretha Franklin sing and we watched the premiere violinist and cellist in the world perform with a pianist and clarinetist, the group being composed of an Asian, a disabled Jew, an African-American and a white woman. Intentional, I am sure. Although blatantly politically correct, it also seemed to symbolize the history of the occasion, where anyone has a shot at even the highest office in our land. Even the music, composed by the one and only John Williams, combined "Simple Gifts", the anthem of folk America with a classical Air and a jazzy underlayment that clearly said, "See? We can put our differences together and it makes a piece that's even more beautiful."
I did my best to explain to Curly why it was important and why the National Mall was so crowded with people. We listened to Rick Warren's prayer and I cried. We asked God's blessing on our nation. On our new president. I cried.
I am so proud to be an American. In this time of division when it is not in vogue to love America, I do. I love our country. I don't love the crimes we have committed, killing millions of unborn babies and even going so far as to justify it by not admitting they are human beings. I don't love the racism we have endured, the frustrating war we have entered or the numerous other problems we sustain. But I still love our country. In site of the doom and gloom prophets who predict our freedom to pray being taken away, we still have the ability to openly practice any religion we choose. We have the freedom to say anything we like and the right to live in peace, to work hard and to orchestrate our own destinies.
As my small daughter sat beside me, I tried to explain to her what was happening. I struggled for words to explain at her level the event she was watching and why it is important. She must have understood a little because she sat and watched with me for nearly an hour. When I think about her growing up, I pray that our nation retains the freedoms we so cherish. I fervently hope that we are sending our children forward into a world where they, too, will be safe and free. Today I did have hope as I listened to a pastor ask God's blessing on our land and on our new president. God does not take such requests lightly. In spite of the troubles we face and the hidden horror of abortion, the frustration of a medical system going in a direction that spells trouble; in spite of these (and perhaps because of them) we have asked for God's forgiveness and blessing and in that I take hope.
Also, please read Hubby's excellent commentary here.