America poised for next chapter in history

Published 8:04 pm Monday, January 19, 2009

Often in our lives, we experience moments without recognizing the historical importance of the event.

Not so today.

When Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America today, millions of Americans in attendence and millions more watching on televison will see history unfold before their eyes.

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Obama, the first African-American elected to the nation’s highest office, comes to power at a time when our nation is suffering some of the most challenging problems in its history. A recession, described on Monday as an “economic Pearl Harbor” by Warren Buffett; wars abroad that have our troops mired in battles against regimes and terrorists; wars and power struggles among our allies and enemies; fear and worry among our people, many of whom feel disenfranchised and without and voice … All of these face our new president as he takes office.

Leading America at this time in our history is, at best, a daunting task.

But President Obama has stepped up, to make his mark in history and to help shape the next chapter in our nation’s history.

His ideas, his hope, his ideals have inspired millions who helped elect him to this office. He holds the promise of hope, of change, of a better day for America. And for many, that hope is in itself an answer to a prayer.

We don’t expect President Obama to be a miracle worker. He is, after all, simply a man. But we do believe he is a leader, with strong convictions and a willingness and desire to bring about change: in the economy, in America, in the world.

Yes, history will be made today when our nation’s first African-American president takes office. It is a remarkable event, given how far our nation has come in the past 200 years.

But let’s not let that single fact be the defining mark of Obama’s presidency.

We hope, instead, that history wlll remember this day as the one in which a new leader helped usher in an era of hope, strength and vitality for our nation.