I’ve been watching the coverage of Barak Obama’s Innauguration. I took notes as the pundits tonight on CBS said,
5:52 PM listening to the pundits on TV “a golden day for Barak Obama”
“Millions came to Washington… I’m glad I got to see it”
5:53 PM “The people were speaking to us and it would be prudent to listen to them”
5:54 PM “Washington can be a very corrupting place, I hope this signals a new era of honesty and authenticity”
Bob Schieffer said he had seen 12 Inaugurations and never seen one like this, “this was something special”.
Even the stolid Francis X. Clines of the New York Times was taken by the levity of the crowd:
‘Is there a problem in the nation? Hear ordinary Americans chant: “O-ba-ma!” One tedious, serpentine line outside the Mall, its restlessness surfacing, suddenly was prodded into happiness when teenagers broke into song: “We’re off to see Obama — the wonderful president of ours!”
Later in the article the ever-serious Cline’s joy starts to show through:
‘The Obama speech patterns became a separate source of celebration, the way John F. Kennedy imitators used to do “vi-gah” salutes. After the speech, a man happily walking a bridge back to Virginia as the best way home suddenly tried an Obama riff on his friends. “We must walk the bridge built by our ancestors! We will find it long and hard! And we will confront Exit 10 C — wherever it leads!” His friends laughed and shared the pleasure of having heard firsthand President Obama in his opening hour.’
But what brought tears to my eyes:
Actress Cicely Tyson, asked her reaction, bursting out with the words of the 118th Psalm: “This is the day which the LORD hath made: and we *will* rejoice and be glad in it.”
Communist folk singer Pete Seeger, 89 years old, belting out the words of “This Land is Your Land” on the steps of the Lincoln memorial with five hundred thousand people on the Mall singing along in such spontaneous, profound joy.
Pete Seeger Bruce Springsteen Obama Inauguration [Google Video]
Guardian Editorial, 20 January 2009: This week, the 89-year-old Seeger stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial singing Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land with Springsteen at the pre-inauguration concert. Seeger’s judgment on politics and music has not always been right, but he is a man of his times and he has been the troubadour of the American left for more than half a century. His return to the spotlight is another sign that things are changing for the better in America this week. In praise of … Pete Seeger
Rick Warren: “We know that today, Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting up in heaven.”
cf. Hebrews 12:1 (KJV): “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”
Aretha Franklin, whose fabulous hat looked like she was wearing a grey, diamond-studded clipper ship, testifying to all our hopes and dreams with her breathless rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”.
“From every mountainside
Let Freedom Ring!”
Copyright © 2009 Henry Edward Hardy