A friend gave me a framed copy of this Jack Ohman cartoon (that doesn't seem like the right word, but. . .). It hangs on the wall in my office.
Today is a day that has happened 43 times in our country's history, and yet it's a first. And it amazes me that just 54 years ago, one year more than I've been on the face of the earth, the "big news" was that a young woman had dared to refuse to move to the back of the bus, a place she was relegated to because of the color of her skin.
Today, Barack Obama becomes President Obama and he is being judged on the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. I'm verklempt. I'm proud. I'm hopeful.
In my business career, I learned that real change does not happen without a tension point. When everything is working out, when sales are pouring in with seeming ease and everyone is happy, changing a corporate culture is very difficult. No one sees the need for it. But when things aren't so easy, when sales are few and far between, people see the need for new ideas and embrace change more readily.
I think that is a lot of what has happened in our country's politics, too. Today marks the beginning of what we all hope will be positive changes. In our current economic and foreign policy crises, people are ready to embrace change, ready to help, ready to look past differences and find commonality.
Barack Obama represents that hope. He faces a daunting challenge in leading us through the changes that will rebuild our economy, our reputation, and our unity.
Today, I am most proud to be an American.