The Crusader Online

January 23, 2009
Vol. 50 No. 12

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Inauguration gives hope to Americans

Two million. That's how many people were in attendance in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. That's not even counting the millions of individuals who were sitting at home watching the same events take place on television. Everyone was watching as history was made when Barack Obama took his oath and became the 44tth President of the United States of America.

The inauguration celebration lasted for five days with several activities including a day dedicated to service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. President Obama called for a day of service to celebrate King's legacy and dedication to service during his lifetime. Obama painted walls at a homeless shelter for teens while his wife, Michelle, helped put care packages together for the troops.

For young people there was a Youth Inaugural Ball, which was held for 18- to 35-year-olds. Tickets to this event were discounted to allow people to go. The ball was held to celebrate the role young Americans can play in the community. This was one of the first times a ball like this was held and Obama was right to do so. A good portion of his support during the campaign season came from young voters.

What surprised me the most was the range of performances that took place during inaugural events. Artists such as Jon Bon Jovi, John Mellencamp, Garth Brooks, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin and Kid Rock all performed at various venues during the celebration. In the past there have been several performances that took place during the celebration, but to me it almost seemed like an awards show with the amount and variety of performances during Obama's inaugural celebration.

This election has helped to change the way children see their own country and the dreams they have for when they grow up. Over the past several days I have been reading New York Times articles about how children around the country are writing letters to Obama wishing him well and providing him with lists of things he should do first as president. Many of these students have said that they now want to become president when they grow up because Obama was elected into the position. These children now don't feel limited in what they can dream. Isn't that what this country was built on -- the ability to grow up and be whatever we want to be?

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