CNN just had two of the past Presidential speech writers talking with the anchors about writing the inauguration speeches. That was amazing except that they both missed the most important fact about this particular inaugural speech – that it has a place in history which no inauguration speech required of them ever had to do. That CNN would have them speak about how these are written, was actually wonderful. It is easy to see that it would be very difficult to create.
These two speech writers that were speaking with the anchors, did not speak on the biggest fact about that inauguration speech being written for this President right now. Neither one of them had to write a speech that would inherently have to fit into the entire history of our nation in the way that this one does. When I think of the things that President Lincoln was known to have said during the course of his place in our history and those words that mean so much to each of us that were orated so beautifully by Dr. Martin Luther King – those words by Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela, from those who still guide the course of our lives with their words from the Pope to Sister Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Einstein – I think of how hard it would be for our President to be constructing those words now with his speech writer and advisers.
Our nation no longer sits at a turning point. That turning and point of change in our country has already occurred. We have embraced change and are moving through that change now. The staunchly insistent that our nation is divided get to be heard by our President, even as they, in serving their own purposes rather than the good of our country, are further working to divide it. And yet, from an oath we each take with every pledge of allegiance and with every oath of citizenship – we are indivisible. We are one nation. This is our President. We have chosen to walk through this time of change with this great man serving us and serving our needs as a nation. That, in and of itself, is historic. Our women’s voices have spoken – we are equal. Our racially diverse communities have spoken – we are valuable. Our educated and uneducated have spoken of every economic status – we are deserving of dignity. And, together – we have all spoken to say that we are worthwhile participants in the America of today and in the making of her place in history – together as one nation – indivisible – using our efforts both individually and collectively to create the strength of America, support the strength of our nation and to enact the strength that these changes have brought to our lives – with the freedom, integrity and willingness to do so.
Our President represents a unique time in our nation. It is a time when Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for our society can be realized in our daily lives – to sit at a table together with dignity, opportunity, freedom and respect for our entire citizenry, not just for a few. It is a time in which the 99% have screamed that we are all here and the Presidency has responded with resound for that fact. The history of this moment in undeniable. The fact that we are indivisible is no longer a play of politics as many have tried to use it, but rather an established fact by the results of our votes and our visible support for a President willing to go with us forward – together as a nation. That, by itself – is historic as well. There are very few moments in our history as a nation that define that fact so clearly as this moment has done. We will be an open community of feasts across all walks of life, all races, all differences and all divides at this time in America. And, that is a fact.
From Dr. King’s speech –
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Our voices will be heard. Our women of every race and religion have spoken. Our communities of every composition of diversity and economic place have spoken. Our citizens of every gender, national origin, religion, political orientation and race have spoken. Our disabled, vulnerable and economically impoverished communities have spoken as well as those populations doing better than most. And, together we have said – we are one nation. We do want equality, opportunity, dignity, respect and freedom for all. We are willing to support an open, tolerant, workable society for our nation’s communities both in our daily lives and for our nation’s future. We do support a man as our President who is the embodiment of that dream upon which Dr. King, President Lincoln, President Jefferson and others have spoken so eloquently. Diversity is the strength of our nation. The belief that each and every individual is important deserving dignity, freedom, equality and respect is more than an ideology for our nation – it is a fact through which we are willing to act each day and in each of our choices. And, it is our strength as a nation. It gives us a creative and intellectual edge that no other nation on earth can match – giving the United States of America the very strength of its essence. We are the United States of America – indivisible with freedom and justice for all. We have just made that a fact.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1861
Interesting quotes from Thomas Jefferson –
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
from Mahatma Ghandhi –
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin**“Hide not your talents, they for use were made,
What’s a sundial in the shade?”
― Benjamin Franklin**“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
― Benjamin Franklin**“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.”
― Benjamin Franklin
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it’s opposite.”Nelson Mandela
“Satisfying the constitutional obligation to be sworn in on January 20, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took quiet oaths the day before the public ceremony at the Capitol, which is expected to attract a crowd of up to 800,000 on the National Mall.” – CNN
(found with this page on CNN)
Obama sworn in to second term, faces new challenges