My heart is filled with gratitude tonight. I’m grateful for life in general, but also that we witnessed a peaceful transfer of power today in our land. I wanted to watch the inauguration on television but that didn’t work out so I listened to it on NPR and perhaps that was better. I was driving back to work from a morning meeting at the University at Buffalo. I wept a lot and they were all tears of joy and happiness. I thought often of my nephew Tom and how proud I was of him and how proud my Dad would have been. Dad’s been gone almost thirty-six years now. He checked out early at 46. He missed a lot.
I listened to the swearing in. I really loved Rick Warren’s benediction. I thought he did a great job. I loved the orchestral arrangement. It was a lovely piece and captured the grandeur for me. I loved Dr. Lowery’s final blessing. I was sorry to see that some people booed former President Bush. I thought that was poor taste.
President Obama’s speech was the best inaugural address I’ve ever heard. I think it will rank up there among the top. His delivery was impeccable and maybe it was because I listened to it on the car stereo but he seemed to thunder like a clap of lightning. It was magnificent. I’ve watched more television in the past few days than I have in a long time.
Tonight it seems like morning in America again. I’m glad I lived long enough to experience this day.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.