Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historic Inauguration

There are certain events in my life that I remember clear as a bell. A number of them are deeply personal. But others are of national, even global significance. These events include the inauguration of JFK (with Robert Frost); the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK; the funerals of JFK, MLK, Hubert Humphrey, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford; Desert Storm, Challenger, 911; the 1968 conventions (the first I remember watching gavel to gavel); the resignation of Richard Nixon. Today will be added to that list.

Until the advent of digital cameras, I used to document such momen- tous occasions by writing everything in my journal, sometimes moment by moment observations. Recently, I've taken to taking pictures of the television pictures...which is what I did some today. It's a different kind of record. A visual one as opposed to a personal one. And even though the pictures are not anywhere near the quality that the professionals would take, they are my evidence of having been there, seen it live.

Today, I wished I had been in position to revert back to my journaling, as I would love to have had my thoughts perma- nently recorded for my memory's sake. Circum- stances wouldn't allow that, though, so I had to let the pictures suffice. I watched the Inauguration with about 100 of our students on a big screen in our gym. Earlier in the morning, I shared a portion of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech with them from an 2003 Oprah show that I taped. It was pretty powerful to hear the two speeches almost side by side. My favorite part of MLK's speech is where he says he looks forward to the time when his children will be judged for the content of the character rather than the color of their skin.

It would seem that day has arrived.

1 comment:

mon@rch said...

It is a day that I will never forget for the rest of my life!