Tuesday, January 20, 2009

grateful

Just now on Facebook, an old high school friend said the following, "[I am] saddened to see comments 'I'm proud to be an American today'. I am proud to be an American everyday. I am proud to have been a serviceman." And then someone posted this follow-up comment, "Our pride in our country should come from its people (who are the same today as yesterday and tomorrow), not one person."

I did watch the Inauguration today. My favorite part was John William's breathtaking arrangement "Air and Simple Gifts" played by Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill, and Gabriella Montero. As I listened to that inspiring and uplifting music with it's beautiful message of simplicity, I thought, "This is what I need. This is what we all need." A return to what is simple, good, and true. (That last sentence is not meant in a political sense--I'm talking about something way beyond or way below politics. Everything but.)

My favorite part of Obama's speech was his tribute to generations past who have worked hard and fought hard for the freedoms and privileges we now enjoy. And as he so rightly pointed out, they did it for us. I don't know that we measure up to past generations and I'm not sure we're always worthy of their sacrifices. The least I can do is feel gratitude for their contribution now and pray that I can feel more. And pray that that gratitude will influence my actions and make me more worthy.

8 comments:

Ave said...

I'm glad you liked the music:)

Mama Ava said...

Maybe your friend was talking about me--I posted that on my facebook page!

I think what people mean (and what I meant) is that I'm especially proud today. Not because the candidate I voted for won. I watched all those people waiting to see the inauguration, people who had cast votes knowing that their votes counted and that the process was legitimate. I saw the gathering of former presidents and vice presidents standing together and marveled at that select group. I thought about how relatively simple the actual swearing in process is, how quietly the former president left and the new president came. I thought about how many countries cannot hope (at this time) to have such a peaceful transfer of power, how many other people cast votes in countries where the elections really aren't about freely choosing a candidate.

And then I'm especially proud today to be reminded of the privilege and blessings and responsibilities that go along with being a citizen of the United States.

And I loved the Air and Simple Gifts, too. Simply beautiful.

Meg said...

Mama Ave expresses my feelings at the process very well. I loved seeing all the "sides" sitting together in a common good.

Meg said...

I hate typos. Sorry Mama Ava. (Not Ave!)

Dave Thurston said...

Love your third paragraph - a homerun.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

My favorite part was also "Air and Simple Gifts." It was beautifully done.

Calandria said...

Thanks, Dave!

ML said...

My favorite part was Aretha Franklin--that made it worth getting up at 3 in the morning all by itself!