Tonight we celebrate a new beginning to an age old story: the wonder that is the United States of America.
I'm almost 50 years old. As a very young child, I remember seeing those signs that read "coloreds only" next to bathrooms and water fountains. I remember riding the bus with my grandmother and wondering why all of the black families were in the back of the bus. As a child, none of it made sense to me. Children, in their innocence, look beyond labels. They don't see color. And I didn't see color as a child, either. And no explanation could make sense of what my eyes saw--as opposed to what my heart knew was right.
Regardless of what a wonderful country we have, we continue to have divisions by race, gender, religion. But on this night, we reached across those divisions. We reached toward hope. We reached away from the nightmare that has been the presidency of GW Bush. We elected a black man as president of the United States of America. And not only a black man, but a man of character, honesty, integrity and intelligence.
And as I sat and listened to Obama's speech, my mind went back to the days of my childhood. I thought of all of the signs I saw. I remembered all of the hateful words I heard. And I had hope. I had hope of a new day. I have hope of a new day. And as I listened, tears began to well up inside. Those tears overflowed and streamed down my face as I felt proud of America and of Americans. I can hold my head up again and not feel ashamed of our administration. I can know in my heart that MY president thinks of me. And that he thinks not of me only, but of all Americans.
Today I have hope that we will bring our troops home! Would that not a single other person have to die for GW Bush's war of personal aggression. May all of the stars on the lapels of Americans be BLUE stars, not GOLD: Blue stars for soldiers brought home from war in one piece, restored to their families.
Today I have hope that our economy will turn around and jobs will increase. I have hope that our country will become prosperous once again. I believe that, if our elected officials will put aside partisan politics and reach across the aisle, we can be great once again. In in so doing, we will restore the respect of the world toward the United States of America!
Now it's up to us to support our President. It's up to us to pray, send protecting energies toward, and trust Wisdom to make her home with him.
Yes we can! Yes we can!