By Peter Bauer
As a school teacher, I was able to capitalize on the inauguration today
by watching it with my first period class. It was truly an historical
moment that my students will undoubtedly remember. Despite their age,
I think they are able to grasp the significance of this election, and
appear to be interested in the excitement buzzing around politics.
I appreciated Obama's tone of confidence throughout this inauguration. When
he said that America would overcome the serious challenges it faces, he
did so in a manner that was smooth and steady- a stark contract from
the aggressive arrogance of the last eight years. Obama sounded assured when he declared, "Our spirit is strong and
cannot be broken. You can't outlast us, and we will defeat you."
I was moved when Obama acknowledged that America has chosen hope over
fear. After being psychologically terrorized by a barrage of
meaningless "Terror Alerts," I'm ready to move forward. I'm tired of
being afraid of faceless "evildoers" and I'm ready to have a President who has hope for a future where America can play a central role in "ushering in a new peace."
Finally, I appreciated Obama playing up the positive spirit of America: hope, virtue, faith, and determination. If we are, as Obama says, truly "judged by what we build, not what we destroy," then I hope that this administration will usher in an era where we unclench our fist and extend our hand.