Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a Great Day to be an American!

Each month when we have our Flag Ceremony at school, our wonderfully patriotic teacher who has been the inspiration for these, always starts them out by saying, "It's a Great Day to be an American!" I always feel this way, but today it certainly rings true.

I remember watching all of the racial strife on television during the 1960's. Living in a small town on the border like Douglas, we were insulated from all of this. I remember always thinking how awful it was that everyone in our country didn't have the same treatment and freedom that I had. I remember where I was when I heard that JFK, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy were shot and how devastating that news was to our country.

I have always thought that Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech was one of the most powerful speeches that I have ever heard. I remember watching this on television. The line that has the most inspiration to me is when he said "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." I hope that I have lived by this creed in my life. It is something that I tell our students at school when I do the "discipline" talk at the beginning of the school year--everyone, no matter who you are, have equal importance at our school. I truly never thought I would see what happened today in my lifetime.

We had our televisions on at school to watch the inauguration and to hear President Obama's speech. What happened at school was amazing. A normal day is filled with kids in and out of the office for various reasons, parents in and out to bring something to a child and a myriad of other reasons, our phones ringing constantly, and someone coming into ask me a question several times a day. From about 9:45-10:45 today, it was unbelievably quiet. We had very little traffic in the office and the phones were quiet. I had one person come in and ask me a question. I can honestly say that has never happened before that I can remember.

I always think about how I was brought up to be politically knowledgeable and active. My mother would have been so proud today. When I got home, my Aunt Teresa called to ask if I watched everything. She said she watched it all day.

I was just watching the news with all of the preparations going on for the many Inaugural Balls going on tonight. The news commentator said that President and Mrs. Obama would not be home until 4:30 a.m. after going to all of the Balls tonight. They were also discussing what Mrs. Obama would wear.

Of course, this brought a funny memory back to me. Many years ago when I was still teaching, I agreed to be the president of our teachers' organization. The story behind this was they were desperate for someone to do this thankless job. I jokingly agreed to it after wonderful Nancy Proffitt went around the room and asked everyone. The next thing I know, I am the president.

So of course I had to do something fun for this event..............
So I had an Inaugural "Brawl" at my house. I even wore a formal (and high top tennis shoes). It was quite the event and a really fun party. I am sure it was no match for what is happening in Washington D. C., but it sure was a great night!!

Back to the serious stuff....I truly hope that President Obama can reunite the American people for the common good. I hope every American will listen and take heed of his Inaugural message.

It's a Great Day to be an American!!

4 remarks:

Meags said...

I was amazed at how the students in my room reacted. Thank you for allowing them to watch this wonderful moment. We had prompts to look for certain themes, promises, gestures and more. We all stood and sang the Stars Bangled Banner with all of America. I was thrilled at the discussion afterward and what the minds of 9 and 10 year olds heard and saw that I didn't. I'm proud to be an American.

Julie said...

I couldn't agree more! We watched yesterday at school as well...however that was after the staff was in an uproar about the principal originally saying No. Political views aside it was an important day historically and I am glad that students were able to witness this as part of their day. I am very proud to be an American and to have a leader that inspires people!

Susie of Arabia said...

I got to watch the live coverage here also, and I watched until the wee hours of the morning. I could feel the excitement and pride in the air. There were moments when tears came to my eyes because other people were so visibly moved. After eight years of hell with an idiot in the White House, it's hard to believe that this is all real. And just hearing Obama speak - what a relief to have someone who can think and talk at the same time, instead of that bumbling fool who made me cringe every time I heard him speak!

Anonymous said...

You haven't lived until you've watched an inauguration with kindergarteners :) Yes, thanks for letting all of us have the opportunity to watch. It IS a great day to be an American and a friend of yours . . . even though I ENCOURAGED you to take that thankless job so many years ago :) Aren't we so lucky to have many special memories . . . like the one today with Shannon being so brave in honor of our dear friend Martha . . . and we all got to be a part of it. Thanks Sheila!
Love & hugs,