Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ladies and gentlemen, we have a new president

My coworkers and I watched the inauguration. Here are a couple excerpts from Obama's Inauguration Speech that jumped out at me:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

Rev. Joseph Lowerey's benediction was also quite inspirational to me - there don't seem to be any transcripts up yet, but here's a nice summary, with two of the highlights I was looking for.

The musical piece “Air and Simple Gifts” by John Williams, performed by Itzhak Perlman, violin, Yo Yo Ma, cello, Anthony McGill, clarinet and Gabriela Montero, piano was pretty incredible, too.

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