Walking through the streets of DC this past weekend, you couldn't help but feel a rarefied sense of excitement in the air. For a city that has witnessed so many historical moments, none seem to have galvanized the population as much as President Barack Obama's inauguration to the highest office in the United States.
I stood in front of the US Capitol building, watching the ceremony surrounded by the very people the President was calling to action. An Asian woman to my right, a Polish-French international student to my left, an African American couple with two young children in front of me; we represented everything Obama has strived to achieve throughout the last two years of his campaign, a renewed sense of community, unity and responsibility to one another.
The urgency in President Obama's words and his desire to inspire Americans to work together to overcome the multiple crises facing our country were apparent. But most of all, especially in the faces of all of the children, you could feel hope, a tangible sense that together, we can overcome any obstacles we may face. This feeling culminated yesterday when President Obama took the Oath of Office and pledged to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which just 150 short years ago stated that African Americans were each to be counted as three-fifths of a white person. The sense of history and achievement was overwhelming.
There were millions of people gathered yesterday to celebrate President Barack Obama's inauguration. Young or old, White, Black, or Latino—it just didn't matter. What did matter was, as President Obama so eloquently stated, "The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."