U.S. Presidential Inauguration 2009

I've always considered myself to be someone of a moderate and yet still rather conservative in many ways. Despite the supposed liberalness of Obama, while listening to the Presidential inauguration this last week, I found many of his words to be particularly inspiring and truthful.

In particular he said, ". . . our economy is badly weakened - a consequence of . . . our collective failure to make hard choices . . . the challenges we face are real.  They are serious and they are many . . . but know this America, they will be met.  On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear.  Unity of purpose over conflict and discord . . . the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to re-affirm our enduring spirit, to chose our better history, to cary forward that precious gift, that nobel idea . . . that God given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness . . . greatness is never a given.  It must be earned . . . it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things . . . who have carried us up the log rugged path towards prosperity and freedom . . .  these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked until their hands were raw, so that we might have a better life . . . this is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth . . . but our time of standing pat, and protecting narrow interests and putt off unpleasant decision, that time has surly past. Starting today we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begging again the work of re-making America.  For everywhere we look, there is work to be done . . . some question the scale of our ambitions . . . there memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done. What free men and women can achieved when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage . . . Our challenges may be new, the instruments with witch we meet them, may be new, but those values upon which our success depends: honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism; These things are old.  These things are true. They have been the quite force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility . . . we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world. Duties that we . . . seaze glady.  Firm in . . .  giving our all to a difficult task . . . God bless the United Stats of America."

He stressed a need for unity within our nation to help fight off rumors and threats of our downfall.  I found a glimmer of hope that our federal government might get back to the things it's done best over the last century, and away from things it has done poorly.  Certainly many of the ideas he mentioned in his speech were debatable as to how effective or appropriate they will be, but I hope that he will have an objective and constitutionally sound view of what will work, and what is appropriate.

I still have a great deal of concern for many of the things I've heard are in Obama's agenda, but the more I get to know him, the more I find myself hopeful that he will make the right decisions to enable our country to stay hard at work; keeping it the greatest country on this earth.  He even talked about staying true to the values our founding fathers tried to instill into our government, and the hope that staying true to those values will allow America to once again be good example to other nations; ultimately making the world a safer place.

Leaders from my own church were present at the inauguration and expressed similar sentiments:

Church Leaders Attend President Obama’s Inauguration - LDS Newsroom

I was particularly pleased that Obama allowed God to be present at this event, and showed respect to the Almighty in many way; even though not as strongly as other presidents have in the past.

I'm sure as the next four years carry on, I'll find plenty to disagree with Obama on, but I also pray that we see this country make great progress down the right paths.  I find myself agreeing with Obama, that it will not happen without hard work from all of us, which reminds me of the famous words of JFK:  "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country".

- Posted by Seth Hollist

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