Entry for January 20, 2009: Inauguration Day

Friends, I hope you had a good weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America and the first African-American in the role was a moving event. I thought his speech struck a good balance between somber acknowledgment of the many challenges we face and idealistic hope and faith in our shared values and strengths.

I attended both Clinton inaugurations in the 1990s and have fond memories of the crowd and festivals on the National Mall. I considered going down to Washington, but the expense, leave time required, and wintry weather kept me home. Still, I was happy to watch the event with co-workers.

I wish the new administration, our country, and the world good luck in the months ahead in dealing with the escalating challenges of economic inequality and recession, health care expenses, persistent armed conflicts, and environmental degradation. Crafting and executing policies to address these challenges is a monumental task, but as Obama said, hard-working Americans are capable of uniting to succeed.