Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top 5 amusing things from Inauguration Day 2009

This post was contributed by Sara Dawson.
Barack Obama's inauguration was indeed a historical event for Americans and (as the commentators were sure to point out) the entire world.

It was also a milestone in my life: this was first presidential inauguration that I have ever endeavored to watch. In light of this fact, I watched every move and eagerly examined every detail. Having reflected upon the matter, I have decided to post the top five things that amused me about these proceedings.

5. Aretha Franklin's hat. Seriously, what is not to love about that lady and her sense of style? From the moment the cameras caught her in the viewfinders, that hat stole the show! Soft, yet catchy and stylishly ambiguous, that piece only helped to further accentuate her stellar performance.

4. The news feed. I watched the first half of the inaugural proceedings on CNN, which graciously provided a schedule of events as well as random facts posted on the bottom of the screen throughout the ceremony. I learned quite a few little tidbits of knowledge via this thoughtfulness, and for that I am truly grateful.

3. The presidential oath of office. If there's any way to reassure the American public of one's own fallibility, it's by having to listen twice to the first few lines of the oath before being able to repeat it. Congratulations, Mr. President, you won a little of my respect with that one.

2. The musicians. I don't know how many people stopped to think about the amazing feat that they were witnessing as "Hail to the Chief" roared through the speakers. Temperatures were in the 20's today in Washington D.C., and the wind made it feel more like 11 degrees (as I learned from the aforementioned news feed). Still, those cornet players were there, blowing into those metal instruments with all their might and skill, and it certainly payed off. Just watching Yo-Yo Ma and the other musicians made my fingers cold, yet they played beautifully. Kudos to them.

1. The benediction. "We ask for you to help us wait for that day when the black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead man, and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say 'Amen.'" Need I say more?


All in all, I enjoyed my first presidential inauguration. Maybe in future years I'll find a way to actually be present in Washington D.C. for the occasion. Until then, I'll just keep an eye on the world from the sleepy state of Tennessee.

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