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Inauguration Day: Invoking a feeling of pride

By NIKKI DOTSON
On January 23, 2013

The presidential inauguration is a historic event in which the newly elected president and vice president of the United States are ceremonially sworn into office and begin their next four year term.

It is a day of celebration and recognition for elected officials. A day that demonstrates the countrys beautiful foundation of democracy and allows American citizens to take part in welcoming these officials to a new term serving and directing the country.

On Monday, Americans gathered to welcome President Barack Obama to his second four year term in the 57th Presidential Inauguration, and to honor civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

According to an article by Darlene Superville, a writer for The Associated Press, the president previously stated that King is someone he admires.
King is one of two people he admires more than anybody in American history. President Abraham Lincoln is the other, Superville wrote.

In a nod to that admiration, Obama took his oath today using bibles previously owned by Lincoln and King. Obama also used Lincolns Bible in his 2009 ceremonial oath.

Kings words and principles were incorporated into various speeches throughout the ceremony.

Obama addressed the country in a way that was meant to not only inspire, but inform citizens of what they are to expect from his second four year term as President of the United States.

Topics in his speech included his determination to achieve equal rights for the gay community, immigrants and other minority groups.

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like everyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well, Obama said.

Obama made history by being the first to ever mention gay rights within his inaugural address.

Equality was a theme carried out through the duration of the presidents speech, which was all too fitting.

That is our generations task to make these words, these rights, these values of Life and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness real for every American, Obama said.

Americans flocked to Washington, D.C. or to their television sets to witness the $13 million inauguration ceremony, themed Faith in Americas Future, take place and to hear the presidents words.

The talk of the town, television broadcasts and social media was not only centered around the ceremony and Obama, but also the first family.

Many were concerned with what First Lady Michelle Obama was wearing, and what the couples two daughters were wearing.

Many praised Michelle Obamas designer choice. The first lady went with designer Thom Browne for her dress and coat, and donned a belt by J. Crew.

According to CBS News, Thom Browne was proud and humbled that the first lady chose him to design her wardrobe for the day.

And then there were the bangs. The first lady also donned her new hairstyle for the days ceremonies. Although this was not the first word of the hairdo, it was still very talked about.

The crowd was certainly massive, but the turn out was not quite as large as Obamas first inauguration, which brought the biggest crowd to Washington, D.C. during inauguratorial events in history.

Many have said that second presidential terms tend to go sour for presidents, but Obama did not seem to be worried for this terms future. His words reflected confidence and determination for his plans for the next four years.

This is something that is nothing short of admirable, and could invoke a feeling of pride from Americans.

Watching the president being read his oath, and swearing to it, has to be one of the most inspiring and prideful experiences.

As an American citizen, there are many things that can be taken from Inauguration Day.

First and foremost, it gives citizens a feeling of pride. Pride to live a country that allows them freedoms that other countries do not supply. Pride to take part in democratic discourse. Pride to see The President of the United States take an oath to serve this country the best he or she can.

Its a historical event that continues to be tradition in our country, and has given Americans a sense of pride for years.

The tradition began with the first President of the United States, George Washington, taking his oath of office on April 30, 1789 in New York City.

Some things have changed throughout the years, for example: the inaugural speech. Washingtons second speech is still known as the shortest in history, coming to just 135 words.

Throughout history, the speech has become an important part of the ceremony.

Some speeches have highlighted great times in history, while some have called the countrys attention to how low American had sunk.

However, looking backward and forward, allows Americans to see the countrys potential to make it through tough times, and celebrate what the future has in store.

It gives the president a chance to speak straight to the people who elected him, and them a chance to hear what he plans to do for them.

Typically, Inauguration Day takes place on Jan. 20, but whenever the specific date falls on a Sunday, the ceremony is moved to the Monday following, with a private oath swearing on Saturday or Sunday.

Historically, inauguration ceremonies took place on March 4, allowing enough time for votes to be hand tallied from elections, but as tallying became easier, the date was pushed up to January 20. The legislation for this can be found in the 20th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the last president to be inaugurated on March 4, and the first to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 when he took office for his second term.

No matter what date The Presidential Inauguration falls on, it gives every American, regardless of social standing, origin or hometown a chance to feel a part of this amazing and unique country.

As we head into Americas future, we can only sit back and see what future inaugurations have in store for us.

Nikki Dotson can be contacted at dotson76@marshall.edu.

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