The Inauguration of Barack Obama

Channel 9, in Australia, has already started their coverage – feeding off ABC in the US. Other channels will kick in as the actual event draws nearer. I have started watching 9/ABC and will be attempting to live-blog the event. When I get started, I’ll update this post. Not that I suspect many people will be awake to read it of my regular readers. I guess this post will hopefully serve as my own personal piece of history, as well as cap off this great ride that I latched myself onto. I don’t know the frequency to updates, or what the content will be just yet, but I’ll give it some thought and update this post accordingly.

12:41am: Ok, I can finally start this thing. *2 minutes later* Ok, finished my mac and cheese which was part of the reason why it took me half an hour to get to this. I kept half an eye on the TV, and ABC has a reporter out talking to the masses, the millions that are assembling on the National Mall. It came to my mind that all this pomp and circumstance, all this extravegance is the result of people. The millions who had faith not just in one man, but in his message of hope and change. Millions of people turned this campaign into a movement. They turned what was one man’s ambition and promises into a mass movement that can change the United States, and eventually the world. So long as the soon-to-be president is given the opportunity, support, and scrutiny that he deserves.

12:53 am: The church service at St. John’s Churhc has begun, the first ceremony of Inauguration Day. We just watched Barack and Michelle Obama drive the short distance to the church, then enter with wide smiles and eager waves. A long tradition, I understand why the United States focuses and celebrates the president attending church right before being sworn in, but it does make me stop and think. Early founders and presidents held it important that the president’s religious convictions – whatever they may be – were not made the focus. That ABC just spent the past 15 to 20 minutes talking about the choice of church that the Obama’s and previous presidential families made, and the frequency of attendence, is not worrying, just thought provoking into thinking how the United States has evolved.

1:02am: They are showing the Capitol Building, the National Mall, and D.C. landmarks. A lot of flashbacks here. I was there some six months ago. I really, really, really wish I were there now. I was considering going over at the beginning of 2008, before Obama had even started winning primaries, then again once he locked up the Democratic primary, and again once I came back, and was so close to making arrangements once he won the election even with an awful exchange rate. I decided against it after not being able to find any accomodation whatsoever.

1:05am: ABC has a reporter in Kenya. I thought that was a nice touch. A bit of a token throw, but I would be very interested in what is happening there. Really, I’m interested in how the whole world is reacting as well as the US.

1:23am: ABC just went to an ad break after looking at items from the Library of Congress. I was unable to get there while I was over (which will be explained in future Holiday Road post), but am eager to get there now.

1:30am: The National Mall has  really filled up. I knew it would be an imperessive sight with every possible square inch filled with hundreds of thousands of people, but that is truly a marvelous sight. It’s very moving too. Apparently 3/4’s of the US will be watching or listening to the inauguration. I hazard to guess that it will be more – and millions around the world as well. 2 and a half hours until the inaugural address – what will be (I expect) Obama’s greatest speech yet.

1:37am: Talk has returned to security. I don’t want to pay much thought to where this conversation could go – but I have to be honest, it has weighed and crossed my mind a few times today. I hope it’s just over-precaution.

1:42am: Talk about Obama’s first national security address, and being informed about the ‘football’ and the nuclear codes.

1:43am: Channel 10 has CBS and they have Gen. Colin Powell on! Talks about how Obama has unified the country, the change he is bringing, and the life he is injecting back into the country. Talks about Iraq, and acknolwedges that Afgahistan will be Obama’s harder task than Iraq. I think this has been overlooked, and coming from Powell I guess it’s true. America should support the president – he is just one man. America needs to help him. And as quick as he came, he’s gone. We are told the church service is about to end.

Later: I stopped live-blogging because I realised it was detracting from the ‘moment’. I shut down my computer and enjoyed the rest of the inauguration a lot. Obama’s speech was magnificent. It inspired me – I can’t begin to imagine how Americans must feel. I just pray that he delivers on his promises. If he does, he will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents of all time.

Thomas.

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