Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today I Watched

Today I watched history being made, I witnessed it unfold right before my eyes. I watched as millions of people around the world did. I listed to them chant his name over and over, while I was chilled with goosebumps. I watched former presidents arrive and take their seats among senators, representatives, civil rights leaders, and Hollywood legends. I watched as every day people from all walks of life gathered on the Mall to watch one single man, some of them having traveled hundreds of miles just to say that they were there.

I watched alone at my desk, because I wanted to be alone with my thoughts in an attempt to process what was about to happen. I watched as the Obama girls were announced to the world and as they walked down the steps to take their place. I wondered if they could possibly know the enormity of the day, if they can even begin to fathom their father's important place in history or if he is just simply dad. I watched as Michelle Obama was introduced and the air of elegance she exudes with her very presence. I watched as Barack Obama, head held high, walked down the steps, tall and proud as he took his place, ready to take the reigns of a downtrodden country hungry for change.

I watched as Joe Biden placed his hand on the bible, took the oath of the Vice President and then happily kissed his wife and children. I watched as someone put down a box so the youngest Obama daughter would be tall enough to witness her father have his turn. I watched a human, a parent moment as Obama pointed to the step stool and said "that's for you." Then with tears brimming in my eyes, I watched as Barack Obama placed his hand on the same bible used by Abraham Lincoln, recite the Oath of Office, and with that become the 44th President of the United States. I watched as millions of people, tears running down their faces, cried out, cheered, and applauded a man who has changed a nation, brought hope in a time of need, and united a country like we have never seen before.

I watched as Obama gave his inaugural address. I listened as he talked about how our country chose hope over fear. I listened as he spoke about his father who sixty years ago couldn't have been served in a restaurant and today his son was taking a sacred oath on steps partially built by slaves. I listened as he announced that our country was re-entering the world stage as a leader. I watched as he addressed his adoring fans, but also spoke to the leaders of foreign countries. I watched as his youngest daughter almost skipped up the steps after her fathers address.

I watched as former President Bush and his wife Laura, boarded Executive One, took a final aerial tour of their home for the past eight years, before heading home to Texas. I watched as the new First Family walked to the sleek new Cadillac motorcade and wave through the thick windows to throngs of people still chanting their last name. I felt my heart catch in my throat and felt myself hold my breath as I watched President Obama and the new First Lady walk hand in hand down Pennsylvania Ave. I watched as they enjoyed a parade and then later I watched as they shared their first dance "At Last" sung by Beyonce, struggling to hold back her own tears. I watched as people of this nation became inspired and I hope we can carry this feeling with us as the days progress. Today I watched as many young people said they were now proud to be Americans.

Today history was made. Today our world changed. Today a new day arrived for our country. Today is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.

Today I watched.

14 comments:

Auburn Kat said...

I didn't watch. We got a special email reminding us that our customers came first, therefore we could not watch it online because they didn't want the servers being overloaded. I heard the speech though on NPR, so I'm ok with that.

Now, get on with it Obama!

Andy said...

God, this post brought me to tears, Mandy. Really.

I can say I'm proud to be an American. I'm just proud to have witnessed all this.

Maris said...

Great post! The whole ceremony was so touching. The Obamas seem like such a great family and I feel so relieved that he's finally in office!

LBluca77 said...

I could not watch anything until I got home, but that is all I have been doing tonight. Well watching and blogging. I am going to have puffy eyes tomorrow with all the crying I did.

It is all so exciting and amazing. The Obamas seem like such amazing people.

Katie said...

That smile on his face says it all. It was a wonderful day, and I'm excited to be able to watch it again (this time with full sound) soon.

It's like we can start to breathe a sigh of relief.

kc mom said...

Yes, I was glued to the TV. Christian and I were cheering and clapping. I even had him waving the American Flag!!!! Other than 9/11, there was no other time I was as proud to be an American---I was proud of my fellow citizens. WE all stepped up to the plate and made history together.

Stacy said...

Great post Mandy!

Wasn't yesterday absolutely magical!?

jamie said...

I watched. I watched online. And it was amazing. Great post, Mandy. And yes, it was an amazing thing to be a part of--we watched history, and we were part of it.

rachel elizabeth said...

so well written! you said everything that i just couldn't find the words to. yesterday was an amazing day for our country and i'm so so proud. xo

Frank said...

I did a little jig once the ceremony was done :) It was one of the happiest (politically-oriented) days I've ever had.

Little Fish said...

I'm crying again just reading your post!

BTW- Since the Obama girls are 7 and 10, I'm sure that they consider meeting the Jonas Brothers the greatest thing that has ever or will ever happen in there lives, which only makes me love them more! I have no doubt that 20 years from now, when they are being interviewed for a documentary, the girls will make fun of themselves for thinking that meeting the Jonas Brothers was the highlight of their lives. (I'm also sure that 20 years from now people watching that documentary will go "who the hell were the Jonas Brothers?" :)

MeLaNiE said...

This is a great description! It was neat to get to watch it!

The Alleged Ringleader said...

Great post! it was an amazing day and I am so filled with hope!

Bayjb said...

This post made me cry again. I was so moved by what I saw that I can't imagine missing it ever.