John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January, 1961
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man
This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Inaugural Speech, March 4, 1933
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.Barack Obama's Presidential Acceptance Speech, November 4/5, 2008
Today, at 12 noon, Barack Obama will be sworn in as our nation's 44th president. I get chills just thinking about it, and I don't care how corny that sounds. The historical significance of this event just blows me away.
The first presidential election I voted in was back in 1992 - Bill Clinton. I remember looking forward to that election, of knowing I was old enough to finally have a say in what happened in America (yeah, I was pretty idealistic back then.)
But that pales in comparison to the excitement I felt on November 4th, 2008 - when I stood in line to cast my vote to get Dubya out of the White House. The election couldn't come soon enough. This election, for me, meant change. Change that this country so desperately sought and even more desperately needed. It was the first time since 1992 that I felt as though my vote did matter.
I say good riddance to the Bush administration and its lies and deceit and its absolute BS that caused more problems than solutions and hopefully history will not be rewritten and whitewashed. And I hope that the Obama administration can fulfill its promise of hope and change. I don't expect miracles, but at least now, after eight long years, there is hope.
So now, I will go put on the news and watch history as it unfolds. And for once, the historic moment is a positive one, and one that I will remember as making me utterly proud to be an American on January 20, 2009.
Congratulations, Mr. President.