A Brief Comment on the Inauguration

kinnon —  January 20, 2009 — 3 Comments

We watched streaming video of the Inauguration this morning here at Sundance. (Windrider is hosted by the wonderful folk at the Mountain Vineyard.) I confess that when President-elect Obama came out I had a catch in my throat and tears in my eyes. The catch was caused by the pure joy of seeing an African-American elected to the highest office in the United States. The tears were caused by profound concern for the new president’s safety.

I was eight and in the Montreal train station, when JFK was assassinated. We were enroute to Trenton, Ontario – in four days we would leave Canada for what would become five years in Europe. A week before Easter in ’68, my father told me that Martin Luther King Jr had been assassinated. Later that same Spring, in my Grade 7 class room in Lahr, Germany, we were told Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated – mere weeks before we would return to Canada.

The European part of my childhood was framed by the assassinations of three key US leaders. When the tears hit me this morning, I realized that I have an expectation of impending doom for American leaders based on events from more than forty years ago.

Although many of his political positions scare the stuffing out of me, I pray for President Obama every time I think of him. I pray that he will experience God-given wisdom that will allow him to be all that people want him to be. But my consistent prayer for him is for his safety – that he will live to be a ripe old age and be an inspiration to future men and women who aspire to public office from non-dominant ethnic and racial backgrounds. May it be so, Lord.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

3 responses to A Brief Comment on the Inauguration

  1. Amen to that.

  2. Thanks for saying this, Bill. I had the exact same thoughts, tears, and prayers as you have written about here. I even had a dream last night about President Obama and even in the dream I was praying for him. It felt really reassuring to get up this morning, read your post, and know that others are on the same page. I especially love the “ripe old age” line you wrote. Amen to that!

  3. I find that I don’t have the words to express what I feel about this. My experience dealing with race growing up in the south is so personal, that words don’t really capture my sense of importance of the time. I will write about at some point.

    I too share your concerns about his policies. I find that they will only make a divisive culture more so. The disconnect between his public demeanor and his political philosophy is troubling, and why I remain a skeptic about whether this man has what it takes to be President.


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