Welcome, Mr. President!

Obama Inauguration

Might take a page outta his book.

It was a pretty cool thing today to witness a part of history unfold in our nation’s storied life. On this day, no more than 10 or so hours ago, Barack Hussein Obama was officially sworn in as our Commander-in-Chief, marking the first ever Black (or at least, non-full white) man to ever take the Oval Office. This act alone holds with it scores and scores of bitter pain, hard-fought progress, and sweet revolution for our country. Indeed, what a joyous day to celebrate! Just to think: forty years ago, MLK was standing near the same steps, preaching a similar message of change, but the face of white America then had never looked so dark. Today, we are seeing America in her new dress, dawning vibrant hues of all colors and patterns. In regards to civil rights, we have surely come a long way. (But we still have a way to go–until that day when another person of race is elected and we do not think the least bit more or less about the man, that is the day when we will have made it.)

I have never seen one man draw such a spirit of fervor and unity among a people. When I turned on the TV, all I saw were a bunch of tall buildings and crowds resembling ants. And that was at Staples. I can’t imagine what it was like to have been in D.C. during the ceremony. I have never witnessed such a massive gathering to greet one man–one would have thought it was Jesus himself walking down Capitol Hill. There was a sense of patriotism, the kind that our country has not felt in such a long time, that was real, even almost palpable when he came onstage. This man literally walked in the footsteps of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George Bush. And now he walks in the spirit of all our country’s forefathers before him, holding with him a calm and cool that could serve our country well in this downtime in our nation’s history.

And did you hear his speech? I got goosebumps. My sister’s goosebumps got goosebumps. I heard that speech and thought how cool would it be to do that? No, not to be the President–I don’t think America wants me running its government–but to write those speeches? To be able to invoke in you certain emotions you didn’t think had existed and to provoke from you reactions that you didn’t think could have control over you. It was just another reminder that the gift of the tongue is a sacred one: with it, we can either spark a man to glory or set him to despair.

Then you got them at all their parties and formal balls, and boy, didn’t they look elegant? It’s really like America’s perfect-on-paper couple. Beautiful, vibrant, jovial, and symbols of change. Looked like they were having a blast. I almost thought of it as the Obamas getting married cause it seemed like such a formal affair. And they danced to Etta James–sweet, sweet Etta. (Girls, you need to come up with another wedding song for sure). The joy, grace, and love that they exhibited seemed to rub off on you.

Overall, the whole event of the day was just a memorable thing to witness.

I do not necessarily agree with all of President Obama’s policies. In fact, he and I might have a bone to pick on a few things. But what I admire and respect about this man is his willingness to admit his faults and be sincere (or at least, appear to be) about the things that need fixing. There is also something to be said about his knack to really look at the core of issues, to get to the heart of the matter; I remember that one line he said in his primaries which has still stuck with me: “Though we might not all agree on abortion, we can all agree that there needs to be fewer unplanned pregnancies.” [sic] I might not agree on his resolutions, but none of us fully will and we can all respect him for how he journeyed to get there and tried to solve our innumerable issues.

Of all the “change” that he promotes, the one thing I hope that stays the same is this attitude of grace and humility. These are not typical traits revered by this world; yet, there is something so inspiring about people who carry themselves in such a way. May God bless this man of humble beginnings so that he is willing to lead by example, and lead by serving his fellow Americans. May God bless America.

– – – –

President Obama,

I hope you had fun today. It sure seemed like you did. You must be exhausted from all the eating, dancing, and handshaking you did all day long. But something tells me that your energy well-spent on this one night will probably pay you in a lifetime of memories. Because of you, I think I might now consider wearing a tux with a white bow tie for my wedding. I’m definitely not dancing to Etta James though. Unless, of course, she says so. (Now come to think of it, maybe you aren’t the most powerful person in the country…)

I just wanted to write to you to let you know that I respect what you are up against. Wars, economy, environment, foreign affairs, and the list goes on. You don’t have it easy. Not one bit. Alas, I know that you are not the answer. No president of our past has been and no president to come ever will be. I’m sure you are already quite aware.

But if nothing else, you are the hope to the answer. You are the hope that can propel us as a people to stop relying on a system and to start looking within ourselves. You are the hope that has once silenced the voices of fear and has already uplifted the voices of those who were once mute. You are the hope that can lead us back to the real Hope.

I hope.

Let us never tire of that awesome refrain: Yes, we can!

You and your family will be in my prayers. Cheers, Mr. President!

– Just Another Fellow American

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3 responses to “Welcome, Mr. President!

  1. Hi Martin!
    Remember me Amitha, from high school? Feels like so long ago huh?

    I just came to visit this page bc. you had posted a link on your facebook page. What a wonderful post! You have penned some eloquent words there, my friend.

    I think you succinctly captured exactly what I was feeling yesterday during the inauguration. President Obama is a reflection of the potential of each citizen, our country, and the world. The most important thing about him is not hat he is the first African asmerican president but that he is a beacon of hope and light during these dark and difficult times. He possesses a calm, pragmatic rationale that, as is obvious, has been sorely absent from past administrations.
    He is, to put it shortly, exactly what we need right now.

    How are you??

  2. Hey Mr. Yan,

    I don’t know if you remember me or not. My name is Brandon Junus and as an 8th grader 3 years ago I took your writting class in ACI. I distinctly remember that in your class there was a really smart girl name Caroline, sitting to the left seat of me, and a girl who wore pijama to class one day named Virginia. I also remember that there were two sean’s (or shawn’s) and one kid with a voice that “burns my ears to listen to”. Most of all, I remember you owning all the kids up in connect 4.

    As I was sitting in class on Tuesday morning watching the inauguration, I couldn’t help but remember this class and what you said about public speakers. I got goosebumps too hahaha.

    I read all of your posts and congratulations on the new job!

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