January 26th, 2009
05:15 PM ET

Our common humanity

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

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Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

The inauguration was almost a week ago; by now you have heard all about the pomp and the circumstance, the parade and the parties. Since I was there, I’m tempted to give you my take on all of that too, but I won't. Because, now that I’m back from what I’m calling my “Inauguration Vacation” – that is, my week in Washington DC - I want to share with you something less tangible and much more meaningful: The spirit of the whole thing. Never before have I seen so many Americans, from all class backgrounds and ethnic groups, from cities and suburbs and rural areas, from places near and far, in one place and so full of the spirit of democracy.

We met a family of six from Ohio. The elderly parents had marched on Washington forty years before. This time they came with their four adult daughters and woke at four am to see Dr. King's dream fulfilled. There was the Tuskegee Airman who had received his special invitation to sit with Barack Obama on the dais. We even met a group who came from Kenya to see this distant cousin take the oath of office in America. There were the grandparents with their grandchildren from Santa Barbara and a wonderful couple from New Mexico, tru TV/In Session fans, they told me. We chatted with a little boy from Arizona who had never experienced cold weather. He was only ten and said his feet were numb but that it was worth it to be a part of history. And the list goes on and on, as you know, into the hundreds of thousands - people from all walks of life crowded together in the cold, sensing their collective strength.

Our new president said it best: "[O]ur patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."

Somebody say Amen.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Mickey

    When I saw the arrogant look on Obama’s face as he was walking out to be sworn in I new then he was the Messiah!! And, as he has said numerous times “He comes to bring peace to the world”. Jesus your to late, you’ve lost your job, Obama is here to save us.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:16 am |
  2. shelz

    AMEN! My 10-year old asked if the patchwork was like the meltingpot. I said no; the melting pot is a sludge without identity and character. But with the patchwork, everyone brings to the table aspects of which makes the whole of it distinctly beautiful.

    January 26, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  3. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    And the church says, "AMEN!"

    In the words attributed to Jesus, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

    Thanks for sharing, Jami! The heights of the human spirit serve to remind us that among all of the horrible atrocities we witness, good still remains.

    January 26, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  4. Annie Kate


    Obama's inaugural address was good when he gave it but in re-reading it I saw just how profound it was. Obama inspires confidence with his words and his actions and for the first time since 2001 I feel reassured about our leadership and the direction Obama is going to take us in.

    January 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm |