As I browse around the internet this weekend I can’t help but stumble across various news feeds, commentaries and the like on Tuesday’s inauguration. Many are describing the ceremony for the swearing in of President Obama as “the greatest inauguration in history.” Whilst I have no doubt that we have elected a truly great man to be the next president of the United States, and perhaps one of the finest men to hold the office in our 233 year history, I somewhat cringe at the description of this being the “greatest” inauguration in our history. I think it belittles some truly great ceremonies in our past.
I mean, no matter what ceremony was employed with the swearing in of George Washington as our first president, and admittedly ignorance prevents me from discussing the mechanics of his inauguration, the fact that President Washington was being sworn in as the leader of a brand new country that was unlike any other at that time is pretty great. Perhaps some may have called that the greatest inauguration ever. President George Washington was leading this whole new democratic system as a shake-down, a maiden voyage, a trial run. That in itself is pretty amazing if you think about it and he even did it without CNN, MSNBC and other 24/7 media outlets discussing every topic from what he would say at the event, what powder he used in wig, who would be present from both sides of the “aisle” and whether or not the wood in his dentures was bamboo or oak. No matter how you look at it, it was a pretty amazing day in April 1789 in New York.
I have to think that the while the swearing in of President Obama is truly historic and certainly a great moment in the history of our country, and please don’t misunderstand me to think that I am discounting the event in any way, it somewhat diminishes the accomplishments and the leaders along the way that got us here and got him there, by saying that this is the “greatest inauguration” in the history of the United States.
Tuesday will be a fine moment in our history and for the first time in a long while I am excited about what lies ahead for the United States. I am excited about this great moment in our history.