Today all were able to do so gathered in our university auditorium at 10:00. The University president said we had many things to celebrate, but perhaps the greatest is the peaceful transition of power which happens in the United States. That made me think of my grandson on the day after election who told me, "There is one girl in my class who likes John McCain, but we played with her at recess anyway."
Then we had an address by an assistant to the system Chancellor. He showed a picture of he and his brothers taken in St. Paul when they were all less than 8 years old. He described what it was like to grow up African American in St. Paul. It was hard to concentrate on this speech, I think due to anticipation, but we all came alive when he reported that his sister, an African-American woman who had been denied college education when she was a young woman, is now a student at our University. Work can be plenty frustrating some days, but that our University gives a chance to those overlooked by many others, is probably the reason most of us come to work everyday.
Then we got back to the CNN video. There were cheers all around for everything. I am struck that this inauguaration became such a community event. Watching it alone wouldn't have been any fun.
The pundits tonight are saying the Obama speech is not memorable. But I'm not so hung up on the words or phrases being memorable as the overwhelming feeling that I got my country back. This speech was such a contrast to what happened after 9/11. The American people were willing to do anything then, and what was suggested: Good shopping.
After the morning events we went to the Great Hall for a nice lunch. There was a wonderful keyboard musician who played things like America with such a good beat that one simply had to dance.
We could stay in the auditorium for the parade, but the desk called. I tried to watch some of the CNN video while doing other tasks. It seemed, however, as if it took a very long time to get the parade going.
Seeing the joy around the country is another great part of this day. I've never had a day like this before in my life. Hope to have another one in 4 years!