The pageantry, pomp and circumstance were fun to watch, even with the backdrop of a stock market sliding another 5% and a panoply of problems big and bigger to deal with going forward.
"It was, in many ways, exactly what one might have expected from a man
who propelled himself to the highest office in the land by denouncing
where an excess of ideological zeal has taken the nation.
But what was surprising about the speech was how much Mr. Obama dwelled on America’s choices at this moment in history, rather than the momentousness of his ascension to the presidency."
As a first generation American from somewhere else, the words that hit home for me in particular were the following:
"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 nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."
I know from personal experience there is no other nation that welcomes foreigners with an open a heart and a generosity of opportunities, and it is something that makes us unique at our core.
It is one of our greatest enduring strengths as a nation long-term, even though the political mood on immigration may wax and wane in the short-term.
And in particular it's going to be one of the critical drivers to our growth going forward, leading others to follow by example.
It was a good day to remember.
We now return to our regularly scheduled crises.