Audiences, whether in Washington D.C. or on campus watching on television, were captivated and mesmerized by the inauguration of Barack Obama, America’s 44th president. For many college students this was the first time the inauguration of a U.S. president was celebrated, the first time their vote helped place this man before us, the first time it mattered and we cared.
Last Tuesday, history was made. President Obama took office as the first black president, a man who grew up in less-than privileged circumstances and came to be a world leader who hopes to get America back on its feet. His accomplishments once again remind us that our country can be filled with endless opportunities and doors open for those for whom it had been shut.
We are all proud to be American and it shows when our country comes together to celebrate the inauguration of our new president, despite ethnic background, religion and political affiliation.
The event has brought hope to America and the path of our country is beginning to change. However, change will not take place over night, and President Obama will not be the solution to all that needs to be changed. Rather he will be a guide and aid in leading people to change their own destiny.
It seems as though the American spirit is ready to take on the task of helping change the course of the country.
Our generation has recently been referred to as Generation S, for service, because it is on our generation that will need to put in the time and effort to see a change before us. This is the era of responsibility and we must take responsibility for the course ahead.
Despite the hope that is now resting on our new president’s shoulders he can only do so much. He can lead but we must also lead. We must agree to help each other and work towards a more common goal. As college students, we have a chance to become part of the change. We just have to have a passion and interest in our government and current events.
Our country has been living in a fantasy world, a dream that we are the strongest, smartest and richest nation. The reality is that no nation that is the strongest would have over 11 million citizens out of work, and no nation that is the richest would be in debt to a country that only 20 years ago was considered extremely poor-China.
Americans do not have all the answers in the world. Our way is not always the right way and for us to move into the 21st century we must begin to see that we are only part of what makes the world a whole and start to listen to others’ beliefs and hopes.
We must open our eyes and see what is really going on, not only in our own country, but around the world.