I watched President Obama’s inauguration yesterday while I was running on the treadmill at my gym. I am not an entirely patriotic person; for example, I forbid any of my children from joining the armed services because the idea of sending one of them off to war is simply too much to bear. Plus, I love memorial Day ’cause I get to sleep in, but I don’t hang a flag or go to the cemetery. And every four years, right before the presidential election, my husband and I joke about moving to Canada.
Regardless of my shameful lack of country pride, I do love times when we all pull together, and for me, the inauguration feels like a unifying event. The fact that we can all take a moment to acknowledge our democratic freedoms, put aside religious differences and pray for a brighter future, and join in gossiping about the first-lady’s J Crew gloves, is a milestone worth celebrating.
My first favorite moment of the inauguration was Myrlie Evers’ prayer. Her husband, Medgar Evers, a secretary for the NAACP, was assassinated in his driveway in 1963. Myrlie Evers-Williams was the first lay-person to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration. She was poised, articulate, and looked amazing for her seventy-nine years. After all she has endured, the fact that she has a prayer left inside her is a quiet miracle that deserves sincere acknowledgment.
My MOST FAVORITE part of the inauguration was when Kelly Clarkson sang My Country ‘Tis of Thee. Of course, it is a great song, and she sang it flawlessly, but what I loved best was the fact that she obviously called Sasha and Malia Obama weeks before the event and discussed color coordinating their outerwear.
“Hey, Sash and Lia,” Kelly said. “I was thinking how fierce we would look if we all wore the same color coat.”
“Ohhh, great idea!” Malia agreed. “How about yellow.”
“Yellow!” Sasha gasped. “I look terrible in yellow. All in favor of purple say American Idol.”
“OK,” Kelly said, “Malia, you wear the burgundy scarf with the rose-violet coat, and I will wear the burgundy coat with a rose-violet scarf. Girl Power!”