Southeast Missouri State University

An Inaugural Sunrise

John Casebolt

Once every four years, the sun rises on a new nation. Yesterday, January 20, 2009, the world stopped to witness history being made as Barrack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America. I stood in the midst of over 1 million people (maybe more!) from across the nation and around the world to take part in this event. I took pictures, talked with strangers and smiled. While the eyes of the world were focused on one man, his thoughts must surely have been on the world. In his inaugural address, President Obama reminded us not only of the conditions at home but around the globe. As President Obama begins to lead America into the future, the international community will be watching.

As I said, I stood in the midst of strangers from here and abroad.  I watched as they watched and smiled to know that each one of us could look to the future together. I watched as the first African American president of the United States assumed the country’s highest office after winning a race that some said could not be won only a few generations ago. Together we stood in the cold not as Americans or foreigners, democrats or republicans, Black or white, but as citizens and fellow members of the greatest race of all – the Human Race.

Those who were there early saw the sun rise on a new nation with a new hope for the future. May we, together, make every day better and brighter than the one before.