Dear Lee and Annalisa,
Today, January 20, 2009, I took you in my lap and we watched the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America: Barack Obama.
You will never remember this day. Lee, you're 2 1/2, and you wiggled and fidgeted during the inauguration and wanted to play with dominoes. Annalisa, you're 4 months old and were having a bad day and cried mostly. So I wish to write some of my thoughts and feelings about this day to you in this letter, so that some day you can read them and realize the importance of what happened when you were to little and too small to remember; so that someday you can stand and say "I was there when America once again United to elect the first African American Preident."
At this time in the United States, we are in turmoil. We have troops fighting in Iraq and in Afghanistan, two countries plagued by terrorism. We also are in a horrible financial crisis, with millions of people unemployed and in massive amounts of debt. It is not an easy time to be the President of the United States. Yet amid the blacknes and pain of these troubled days, hundreds of millions of people chose to change the country. We listened to debates, examined platforms, and then we voted. Not everyone voted for Barack Obama, and that is okay. He is not perfect, and is not a perfect candidate. Each person in this country decided for himself what they wanted, then asked for it. In the end, the majority ruled, and Barack Obama had received more votes.
It is important to remember that Mr. Obama was not selected because he was black. He was selected because the majority of people thought he would do the best job. It is also important to remember that Mr. Obama is black, and that this day--the day he became President--marks a new chapter in American history. There was a time that Black people didn't have the same rights as white people. It has taken time, and the change was not immediate, but the change came. Sometimes it's hard to notice when an old era ends and a new era begins, but I think it's safe today that a New Era started today.
Today, we live in a world where change was embraced; when we weren't afraid of differences, and when we knew that "Nobody, no matter what their color, is better than anyone else." I want you to remember this. Gone are the days when your fate in life was determined by how you were born. Now, you must decide what you want in life, and go get it. The President addressed this in his speech this afternoon, that we must be responsible for our own actions, and we are responsible for making this country great.
Remember this day, my children, and the history of it. Remember to be the best you can be, for you are blessed to live in a country where anything--and everything--is possible.