Witnessing the beginning of a new era in Washington

Written by admin on January 21, 2009 – 9:23 pm -

I witnessed history in Washington yesterday. The expression sounds trite, but it’s true. People descended on the nation’s capital from everywhere for the big event.

There was such a feeling of solidarity. People who’d normally never talk to one another have become best friends as they waited — and waited — to board the Metro. Getting around the city was a walking event and people from all over the world gathered together to welcome President and Mrs. Barack Obama and his two daughters to the White House.

People were literally in tears — of happiness and from the cold — as they watched the 44th President of the United States be sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States.

Even if they were nowhere near the Capitol, just being on the Mall was enough to be a part of the event.

There were at least twenty events taking place in Paris including one at the Hôtel de Ville (French for “City Hall”) today. Americans held celebrations all over the world.

If people couldn’t attend an event, they could sign onto the Internet. Facebook and other social networking sites enabled people to virtually participate in the swearing in and other festivities. More people watched this event than any previous inauguration – either on television or via the Internet.

Being in Washington holds special significance — welcoming the first black American President. Barack Obama is inheriting some the greatest problems the world has ever known.

Everyone, no matter their political affiliation or nationality, is unanimous in wishing him and his administration luck. Even though the weather was cloudy yesterday, the sun is shining.

How did you celebrate this Inaugural Day?

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.


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