For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
-an excerpt from Barack Obama's Inaugural Address
Driving down the road, I listened as our nation's 44th president was sworn into office and shared his opening address. If you want to read the entire speech you can find it online. These words spoke to me, about our part in what is to come. While we have elected a new President, we share his burden and responsibility. We can embrace that or we can bicker and moan and find our situation even more bleak four years from now. Today, if nothing else, we can celebrate a new hope that has embraced people that never before had that opportunity. Tomorrow, our our work begins in earnest.
Mr. President, you have my prayers.