Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This day, that has been anticipated by your host on the Limb for so long, has come and nearly gone. Words cannot adequately convey the joy with which I greet it. Anyone who has visited the Limb since it sprouted in November of 2005, knows how fervantly I have wished an end to the mistakes of the last eight years.

But when I wrote that first post I never dreamed that this day would bring the degree of joy that it has. Not only do we have a Democratic President who has already begun rebuilding our nation's reputation and the integrity of the executive branch, but he is a person of uncommon ability, eloquence, and vision. And he has, merely by his election, made spirits soar for folks who dared not dream that one of their own could lead our nation. What a light shown in the eyes of my minority students today as we watched that wonderful patriot, who happens to be African-American, speak of us of taking responsibility again. He challenged us to "...put aside childish things."
"...greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame."
And how reassuring to me were his words specifically reminding us that his obligation is not just to provide for the defense of the living but also to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations."
I have shed tears of joy today. There are those who would mock my tears as tears of naive adulation. They are mistaken. I recognise that, like the icy Delaware that faced Washington and his heroes in 1776, we have daunting challenges before us. There may yet be Valley Forge winters to come. But also like those men who braved the river and the Hessians and the Redcoats, we have a leader of strong ethics, fierce determination, cool intelligence, no wish to be king, and absolute loyalty to the American cause. That gives me great joy and hope.

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