... let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009.
There were many great moments during the inauguration of President Barack Obama yesterday. But more than anything else he said, what struck me was the way he reminded us that while our cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds are varied, we as Americans have one common responsibility. The future.
It was an historic day for a lot of reasons, and it's not my intention to diminish any of them. But the truth is that every inauguration is historic, because every time someone takes that oath of office, someone else relinquishes that power. We've done this 43 times now. Barack Obama is the 44th President to take that oath of office, which means that 43 men before him have stepped aside. Over 200 years ago when our founding fathers started this experiment in government, it may not have seemed like much. But yesterday the eyes and ears of the world were upon us as responsibility for leading the most powerful nation on the planet was transferred from one man to another.
That in itself is a gift we give to the future. Let us never take it for granted.