A Different Kind of Inauguration: Barack H. Obama 44th President of the United States

The . Original title: The original Star Spangl...

The . Original title: The original Star Spangled Banner “Museum” (from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve.) This glass negative might show streaks and other blemishes resulting from a natural deterioration in the original coatings. cropt from LOC file before upload to Wikimedia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I liked Obama’s inaugural speech. What did he talk about? Carrying on our “ founding fathers “ideas of everyone treated with equality. Everyone working together and getting along. What a novel concept. He talked about immigration and gay people being allowed to be who they are.

What I liked best about his speech is that he probably wrote it himself. Nothing like having an intelligent president. It’s nice to watch his family too. You know he really values women by the way he treats his wife and daughters.

Naturally, having James Taylor sing “America” entertained me no end. (And every baby boomer.) Kelly Clarkson singing “ My Country Tis of Thee.” was very inspirational. It was like I was hearing that second verse for the first time.  Beyonce was the best, singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

My absolute favorite was the Cuban- American poet, Richard Blanco. Here is his poem in case you missed it. Until I did his research I didn’t realize he was gay. Should that matter? Should we be talking about that? I don’t think so.

What do you think?

Click on the link, and you can view the poet reading his poem at the Inauguration.


From an 1855 letter

An acquaintance of mine is part Cherokee, and photocopied this letter. I asked if I could borrow it for my blog and he said, “sure.” It’s quite insightful.

Bronze statue of Chief Noah Sealth ("Chie...

Bronze statue of Chief Noah Sealth (“Chief Seattle”), Chief of the Suquamish, Five Points / Tilikum Place (where Denny Way meets Fifth Avenue, roughly the border between Belltown and South Lake Union), Seattle, Washington. Sculpted by local sculptor James Wehn, unveiled November 13, 1912. On the National Register of Historic Places, ID #84003502. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From An 1855 letter.

We are indebted to the National Wildlife Conservation News for publishing the following thought-provoking letter written to President Franklin Pierce in 1855. It was sent to him by Chief Sealth of the Duwanish Tribe in state of Washington:

“The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. How can you buy or sell the sky—the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. We do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shiny pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.”

“We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and his children’s birthright is forgotten.

“There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings. But perhaps because I am savage and do not understand, the clatter seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night.

“The whites, too, shall pass—perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed,  the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the views of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is to say goodbye to the swift and the hunt, the end of living, and the beginning of survival.

Do you think he was an insightful prophet?

World War II Monument in Washington, DC



Ww2a (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I saw the World War II monument in Washington, D.C. It was a night, so it was a little more haunting. It is masterfully lit up.

It is something fantastic. There are  water fountains, memorials to all the states, and some intricate sculptures depicting the battles on both fronts: the Pacific and the European.  I would’ve spent hours just looking at the little intricate sculptures.

I thought it was an appropriate memorial to these people, and it’s a good thing they were willing to sacrifice their lives, or where would we be now?

It’s too bad it took so long to put up the memorial since many of them have already passed on.

One of my reactions was: is this glorifying war? But, of course, we have to honor people who died. That’s what a memorial is supposed to be. It’s incredibly sad that people are still dying every day on our behalf.

I suppose war is just something that people do to solve problems. It seems so ridiculous that in the 21st century it’s still going on today. How often do we think of the men and women dying in Afghanistan?

I don’t think it’s as clear-cut today as it was during WWII. It hasn’t been clear-cut since the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.

What do you think? Should we put up elaborate memorials celebrating the heroes who died? Is war going to be part of humanity as long as humanity survives? Is peace around the world an impossible dream?

What do you think?