January O'Neil's Virtual Inauguration Party

Welcome to the party!

Today, we celebrate. Today, we pause and reflect on this tremendous occasion before we roll up our sleeves and work to get this country back on track.

Congratulations to Barack Obama as he becomes the 44th president of the United States!!!

Talk to me. Let's start a conversation. How are you feeling? What are your thoughts this inauguration day? I took the day off from work to watch the events without interruption. And tonight I host a poetry reading in which readers will share a poem inspired by politics and our new president.

I especially want to hear from those who lurk. Stop by and say hello.

Let's get this party started!


LJCohen said…
I woke up, as usual, to NPR on the clock radio, and as I surfaced from sleep, it was to coverage of the events in D.C. It gave me goosebumps.

Just saying President Obama out loud gives me a thrill.

He is of my generation. We who were not the boomers, not the Woodstock generation. We are the generation who grew up in the aftermath of shattered hope of the 60s and the cynicism of the Nixon era.

We came of age seeing greed trump everything else in the 80s and deep into the 90s. We watched civic engagement become a quaint memory of something that belonged to another time and place.

I am hopeful for my future, my children's future, my country's future, and the world's future for the first time in a long time. Yes, that's a lot to place on one man's shoulders. Yet, I do not place the responsibility on his shoulders alone, but on all of our collective shoulders.

My prayer for this day: let today be the start of a new era of engagement. Of understanding what interdependence means. Of owning a stake in the public good.

What a day!

January said…
I literally couldn't sleep last night. And, unfortunately, I've had to distract my 3-year old daughter to watch as much as I can. But I'm looking forward to having her watch the swearing in ceremony.

President Barack Obama--does have a nice ring to it.

I think Obama's off to a good start. I, too, am hopeful that we will all do our part to make things better.

I'm excited that the new first family will represent us well around the globe.

Thanks for your thoughts today, Lisa.
January said…
And I'm keeping my fingers crossed for poet Elizabeth Alexander in her stunning red coat!
LJCohen said…
I'm sorry I won't be able to get to your reading tonight--Salem's just a little too far on a 'school night', but I'll be there in spirit.

odessa said…
Hi January! What a glorious day today is. I'm so lucky work allowed us to watch the inauguration. I was choked up when Elizabeth Alexander read her poem, so very touching. And yes, President Obama has such a nice ring to it.

Cheers to a new beginning!
Catherine said…
I can imagine how thrilling this must be for Americans. On the other hand, I can't help feeling that too much hope is pinned on one man. Also, too much responsibility is pinned on one country. Talk of how maybe Barack can bring peace in the Middle East leaves me thinking "why is this America's job?" That's what the UN is for, after all.
It reminds me of the Kennedy years - the last time America had such a charismatic leader.
Have a great day!
January said…
Catherine, it does seem like we're resting our hopes on one man. But most of us understand that it's going to take many hands to do this work. And, Obama has done a good job is setting expectations. It might take two terms (8 years) to get the U.S. back on track, we're ready for the change.

As for the Middle East, the U.S. has to get out in the most responsible way while helping Iraq and Afganistan rebuild. We can't change things but we can stop doing more damage.

Hope seems to be the word of the day.
January said…
Hi Odessa. I thought Elizabeth did a fine job. It's hard to write an occasional poem, but I thought she captured this moment in time well.

President Obama ... I can get used to that!
~ said…

I couldn't sleep last night either. Today I sort of feel like I felt on Election eve and the next day, I don't want it to end. I can't get enough reporting, images, stories, info on it. We've had the tv on all day and it's all celebration here.

I'm off to an inauguration party this evening with my family and really just feeling thankful, hopeful, and blissful.

An incredible day.
Maya Ganesan said…
The feeling is amazing. I admit, I was not rooting for President Obama (definitely got some ring) at the beginning.

But now I'm quite happy for him; I'm rather relieved/glad that he's the one taking office. Because we all believe in him so much.

It's been...different. I don't think words could ever explain this day. From the start to the end I followed this man's spectacular journey -- 06 to 09, it's been a long ride.

I am not headed to any parties tonight. Instead, in my own little corner, I celebrate a humble man whose duty now is to lead our glorious nation.
Maya Ganesan said…
Also, it is indescribable, the feeling, the knowing that we are united under a highly popular leader who loves the poetic voice so much. Elizabeth Alexander was brilliant at the inauguration and us poets are now in safest hands.

How lucky can we get?
January said…
Thanks Maya. This has been an incredible journey for all of us--and it's only just beginning.

If the Obama administration can accomplish half of the things they promised, I'll be happy.
January said…
Thanks everyone for stopping by on such an awe-inspiring day.

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