Wow! Did you see all those people on the National Mall. It reminded me of a scene from "Evita". I loved Steven Spielberg's quote, "I couldn't afford a cast like this" (or something like that). I liked how the crowd was so mixed: people of all ages, colors, religions. I WISH I had been there.
Wow! What a speech! It addressed all the points. I didn't even think he was reading of a teleprompter, but he was. The speech was co-written by Obama's 27-year-old speech writer, Jon Favreau, who wrote the first draft in Starbucks. They say that Favreau, "Favs", carries Obama's autobiography, Dreams From My Father, wherever he goes. The guy sounds like an interesting and creative old soul. Yet another example of how anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it. Kudos to Obama for putting his faith into someone young, but obviously outstanding.
My favorite parts of the speech:
"...it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."
"...Now there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."
"...Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security eminates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."
"... For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.... that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itsself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."
"... To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
"...For as much as a government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours."
I look forward to exciting times to come!