Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaguration Eve



When I am an old woman, I know that I will look back at tomorrow, January 20, 2009 as one of the biggest events in my life time.

Born in 1959, I have lived through many huge moments in American history. I have dim memories (because I was so young) of the day President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember the tears of my aunts, who were home with me that day, and I remember sitting on the cool hardwood floors, watching the black and white TV on the day of the funeral. It was a strong memory, that stays with me still.

I saw rocket launches, men landing on the moon, Nixon's resignation, shuttle explosions, and the day President Reagan was shot, just to name a few. My parents went out of their way to make sure my little bro and I would get up early, or stay up late, to watch these moments on TV, or the coverage following a tragedy. I even watched Watergate hearings when I got home from school, trying to figure out what was going on. The deeply ingrained habit has stayed with me in adulthood.

On 9/11 and for days afterward, most everyone was glued to the coverage, I just never stopped. Yes, I am a news junkie.

I'll have to catch the inauguration mostly after the fact on the DVR, as some goofy networking group scheduled a lunch for tomorrow, and I HAVE TO cover for my boss. Can't remember the last time I didn't watch an inauguration live.

Feeling fairly conflicted about all this...............On one hand..............I love the pomp and ceremony. The traditions and history making. The songs, the military bands, and the red white and blue bunting. Yes, I'm the sappy, sentimental, patriotic type, who's voice cracks during the national anthem, and tears up at the poetry or famous quotes.

On the other hand, I did not vote for Barack Obama, and I am not happy that he won.

My issue with him? Inexperience.

Oh, and I also disagree with just about every single view he holds.

On the other hand (am I out of hands?), he is my President. Or will be in about 12 hours.

Most important of all, it is a MOMENTOUS moment to me, that a African American will take the oath of office. Back in 1958, when my parents married, it was considered a bi-racial marriage. My Dad is "white". A good jumble of English, Scottish, and a bit of Cherokee thrown in. My Mother is "not white". Or at least that was the thinking as she grew up, and when they married. She's Spanish, mostly, with a number of other nationalities thrown in, but at that time, Hispanic meant she was "not white".

Because of their mixed marriage, and the stories of racial prejudice Mom endured growing up, I was raised with a strong sense of diversity, and pride in my mixed heritage. I was also raised to disdain discrimination, prejudice and what we now call profiling. Hence, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a hero of mine growing up. I was devastated by his murder.

Now tomorrow, a massive step forward in "The Dream" takes place, and we have a front row seat.

And the world also looks on, at our "peaceful transition of power". I never doubted that we would see this day in my lifetime. Now that it's here, I will watch, through tear filled eyes, and say prayer for this young man, who tomorrow will become the most powerful man in the world, that God will grant him wisdom beyond his years, and surround him with a least a few people who will speak the truth to him.

God Bless America, and God Bless President Barack Obama.

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