Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I was thrilled that my third-grade son got a chance to view a portion of the inaugural ceremonies today at his school, but completely distraught that my 7th-grade daughter did not get the same opportunity. Of course, I have more recordings of today's events than Hannah will ever be interested in watching, but I was truly saddened to know that not one single teacher whose class she attended today made any mention of the inauguration. HELLO?! This is history in the making. We are living in an historic time. What a shame for those who may some day read about it in the history books and only then become aware that they were here, living in the midst of it. If only their teachers had discussed it, or at the very least, mentioned it. I've long known that I live smack in the middle of a community whose political views differ from mine. The fact that Barack Obama did not win the majority of the vote in this community does not support any educator's decision to ignore today's inauguration. I am truly unhappy to learn that my daughter has a history teacher who chose to not take full advantage of such an unbelievable opportunity to not only TEACH history, but to live it with his students. How sad I am for my daughter, and other students in this community who seem to be shielded from this monumental occasion. Not only has the first ever African-American taken the oath of the highest office in the land, this dignified, well-spoken individual is from our own state. Did the teachers not know that? Ironically, Mahomet schools are considered outstanding . . . . and yet this moment in history went "unmentioned" on the very day that it happened in a school full of young learners. How is that possible? I regret that I have no explanation for my children as to why this community that aspires to be progressive, can't escape its conservatism. I am grateful, however, that my parents exposed me to the world of politics at a very young age. I'm grateful that while my daughter moans when I launch in to my political editorial of the day, that she does hear some of what I say and later gives it thoughtful consideration. And I'm grateful in knowing that she and Riley both might some day appreciate their early exposure to real-world issues. And even if the day comes that we don't share the same political views, I will be grateful that they have some views of their own, developed from awareness, encouragement and knowledge that begins at a very young age. At least it begins at a young age in our household.
As I watched Joe Biden take the oath of office, I thought I could not have been more enthusiastic as I was at that moment. I wanted to jump for joy and shout "Farewell Dick". I secretly hoped that someone would wheel him off the platform right then and there. I watched in awe as our new Commander-In-Chief, President Barack Obama, gave yet another inspiring and eloquent speech. I wanted to cry out, AMEN. I literally did so at the end of the benediction (which was fabulous). I was pleased, as many were, to see our truly humble, dignified new president, escort the former first family to their final point of departure from the capital of our country. I still wonder how we as a nation allowed such an indignant administration to remain in charge for the past eight years. But alas, we now look ahead to challenges and changes that as daunting as they may be, will be handled in a manner in which we can all be proud. While none of us, nor the new administration, can fix the issues at hand, we can feel confident that we, as citizens of The United States of America, will be given utmost consideration for what is truly in our best interest as a people and as a nation. The two men in the White House now are not only intelligent and well-spoken, they are compassionate and committed to an agenda that benefits all Americans, not just their own itinerary. Praise God. This IS a good day.