Tuesday, January 22, 2013

President Delivers in So Many Ways

In case you didn't hear it, President Barack Obama delivered an amazing and truly beautiful Inaugural Address yesterday in Washington, D.C.

The speech was historic in many ways.  Most of all, in a very personal way, it touched me.  It was amazing to hear the President of the United States explain in real terms that he understood the struggle that the LGBT community continues to fight today for civil rights.

President Obama brought home the shared journey that we all continue to walk in this country and that we are indeed all in this together.  The speech had its DNA in the great speeches of President Lincoln and Dr. King.  At one point, it seemed to be a direct answer to Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech given nearly 50 years ago at the other end of the National Mall.  The answer is that we still have work to do and that we can do it together.  As Obama said:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation's task — to make these words, these rights, these values — of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time — but it does require us to act in our time.

Mostly, though, I'm just proud to have a President that I voted for twice stand before his country and give a speech like this one.  I am very proud of my President, and I look forward to a new spirit of cooperation that will hopefully come from us all as citizens.  WE THE PEOPLE can indeed move this country forward, and I thank the President for reminding us of this.

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