Friday, January 23, 2009

Ushering in an era of hope and change

A peaceful transfer of power

The world watched Tuesday as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States ushering in a new era driven by the words "hope"and "change."

Obama, son of a white woman from the United States and a black man from Kenya in Africa, recited his oath of office in front of more than 1 million people present in Washington D.C. and countless others watching from around the world.

The United States once more, as it has in its long history, had a peaceful transfer of power. Peaceful and gracious, as former President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush welcomed the Obama family to the nation's capital over the last few weeks.

Obama brings a diverse background, young family and a drive to work towards a better America to the seat of government in Washington, D.C.

Local residents speak out

I spoke to some Patterson residents this week and most were ready to support their new leader.
Kristina Santos, president of the West Side Democratic Committee, said the group had an inauguration party Tuesday night at a local home.

"It was a wonderful day and it is a new America," Santos said. "There's a spirit of unity that was evident in all the people who came to Washington, D.C. to celebrate with joy. There's a new feeling of confidence and hope in our government that conditions in our country and our relationships around the world improve."

Retiree Sandy Mc Dowell got up early Tuesday morning to listen to all the "hoopla" as she called it.

"It was truly thrilling to see the crowds and realize some of the intense planning and preparation for this inauguration," McDowell said. "Seeing all those people — they were just so enthusiastic. They even showed 'clips' of people around the country and around the world."

Changes in our nation

Two local women of color have seen changes in our nation in the past few years.

“It was the second most historical moment that I can remember, " said Juanzette Hunter. "The first being Nov. 4 with him winning the election. And by getting the younger and older ones who never voted before the possibility of hope and change. It was a personal thing for me being from the South and seeing the changes in the world from a child till present. "

Hunter added the thought that now we all need to work together for a better future.

"If all the politicians and us common people work together, we probably could see a change quicker," Hunter said. "I’m very happy to be a part of history so I can tell my grandchildren one day. And my great-grandchildren because I’m going to be around then too."

Cerise Grice and her husband, Andre, took the day off from work so they could watch every moment of the inauguration. Cerise also made sure students in her children’s classrooms were watching. Daughter Simone toured the nation's capital this summer first hand through a leadership conference.

Simone, age 11, said President Obama is a great leader and a role model.

"He wants to help the economy by getting people back to work and keep them in their homes," Simone said. "He's inspired people to believe that our challenges will be met."

Her mother is also confident the nation will move on to brighter days.

"I have been supportive of his(Obama's ) campaign and his approach moving our country forward, " Grice said. "I’m a native of Chicago and I’ve known him since his appointment to the state senate of Illinois."

Grice said Obama has engaged youth in the political process and it transends all factions — beyond race, gender and religion.

"Even though my daughter is not of age to vote she understands our government leadership process," Grice said. "That's what I love about his speech, it was so encouraging reminding us we are one people and one nation."

Veterans support new leader

Retiree and war veteran Wade Norris watched the televised events.

"It was a great inauguration — attendance broke a world record," Norris said. "Barack Obama says he's for change. He's got a plate full. We all wish him luck. I believe he's going to make a good president."

Gene Carter, another war veteran, is willing to give Obama a chance.

"He did a very good job on his inauguration speech," Carter said "I think he's going to do a heck of a job as president."

Associated Press photos

1 comment:

Aprende Ingles~Learn English said...

"Ushering in an era of hope and change"--We can let history decide that. It all sounds great on the surface. However Obama has yet to make any significant changes. Many prior Bush policies have been continued under the Obama administration. Theres no doubt about it...hes an amazing man..but history will tell wether or not he actually ushered in any kind of change.