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Readers share thoughts on the inauguration

The Salisbury Post asked readers to send us their comments on the inauguration of President Barack Obama. These are some of the replies.
Finally, a president who looks like me
The inauguration means something very special to me … someone that looks like me will take the highest office in our country. I am proud to say I will be attending the inauguration, and I am looking forward to it. We are headed for change and a new political direction, and I am just happy to be alive for such a time as this. I believe our nation will never be the same
ó Paris A. Mooney
This will change hearts and attitudes
I am attending the inauguration of Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. The anticipation of going on the trip and being on the grounds of the Capitol building makes me excited, energized, encouraged and motivated. This is one of the greatest moments in the history of America. One day I will be able to tell my children I was in Washington, D.C., and witnessed this historic event.
The inauguration of Barack Obama as the first black American president is awesome. Obama’s inauguration gives me hope and makes me feel I can accomplish anything I want to in my life. It makes me feel proud that a man of my race will be president. Obama presents a positive image of the black race to America in a time when some of our black male celebrities have not presented positive images. I also feel the hearts and attitudes toward black men by those who are not of color have changed.
In August 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.” 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 the content of their character.” Barack Obama’s inauguration as the first black president of the United States is part of the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I believe we now live in a nation which looks at the content of our character and not the color of our skin, and this is evident by the election of Barack Obama.
“Yes we can” was the slogan used during Barack Obama’s campaign. My dream is to become a sports commentator on radio or television. Now I truly believe, “Yes I can.”
ó Brian W. Harris
What the world desperately needs
I think everyone is aware of the significance of this inauguration in terms of Barack Obama being of mixed racial heritage. Momentous boundaries are being crossed in that regard and, hopefully, many prejudices are being laid aside.
The true significance of this moment in history for me lies in the promise of this man as a human being. His preparation and character, his insight and compassion, his vision and refusal to give up hope, his humility and willingness to confess fault, as well as his ability to convey all these things through his presence, his practices and his proclamations, all combine to signal what not just America but the world needs so desperately right now.
Barack Obama is not a man greedy for power, position, fame or riches, but a man devoted to public service and the betterment of this world. I believe he will be a good and faithful steward of the office of leadership.
During these difficult days and months ahead, let us give President Obama our support, our respect, extend to him the benefit of the doubt, and keep him and his appointees to the various offices in our prayers, so that they might be strengthened to courageously and imaginatively carry out their responsibilities, and, that they might also remember that they are ultimately accountable not just to the many, but to the One.
ó André Resner
Resner is professor of homiletics and church worship at Hood Theological Seminary.
People were ready for this moment
The inauguration is going to be great. It’s a good feeling to know that we will have an African American in the White House. I believe he is the right man for the job. He is focusing on the future generations.
A very drastic change is coming to America. During the election people were saying that America wasn’t ready for a black man in office. Well, here’s my question to them, “How does anybody know what the world is ready for?”
The inauguration is the door to a new beginning. The United States can be a brighter and more beautiful place with a smart, educated man like Barack Obama in office.
ó Ayanna Holmes
The culmination of many dreams
President Barack Obama’s inauguration means to me that the dream my mother and father told me about as a child is coming true. Just as Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of a dream, my own parents spoke of having a dream.
Mr. Obama’s being elected means that maybe now blacks can be looked at as having just as much intelligence as our white counterparts. That maybe we can be known for doing something besides running a football, basketball, tennis and, lo and behold, golf. That we can carry ourselves and speak and do things that was only one time thought of as “whites only.” Mr. Obama’s inauguration means that I can tell my son and daughter that you can run a country, be a pilot, senator, lawyer, doctor and really mean it. It means that I will be happy feel proud and continue to have faith in God.
It means I can stick my chest out a little more and know that all people are not so bigoted that they only judge someone by his or her color.
ó Brenda D. James
Winston-Salem
The bright dawn of a new beginning
The inauguration is a portrait … a colorful array of the struggles, the value and beliefs of those who came before us and those who stand today. It is the breaking rays of a long awaited sunrise and we shall bask in the warmth of restoration; not with complacency, but with action and voice. This is what the inauguration means to me and to my people.
ó Tia Glass
Protests helped break down the barriers
The inauguration has a special meaning to me because of the small part I played in laying the foundation for President Obama’s election.
During the 1960s, I was a part of a demonstration of approximately 3,000 students from various colleges in the Greensboro area. In an effort to desegregate the movie theaters, we were arrested and jailed for five days. Because the jail facilities could not accommodate the mass number of demonstrators, some women were placed in an abandoned nursing home ó 12 people to one room.
We slept four persons to a mattress (three mattresses per room). One bathroom connected two rooms; thus, 24 people were sharing one bathroom. The officers stood by continuously with guard dogs, ready to release them if any of us made a move.
When I think about all of us in that demonstration, innocent and unarmed, at the mercy of some of the most extreme racists in the country, I cannot help but marvel how this same race of people is now surrounding and protecting a black man, President Barack Obama. I am elated that the small part I played while a student at A&T State University enabled an Afro-American to be elected to the highest office in the country.
It took the grace of God to help me get beyond the hard feelings I had at that time for those who so deeply believed that Afro-Americans were second-class citizens. Today, I feel that we all are truly “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
ó Patricia Turner
Spencer
Actions must follow from this spark
A spark of hope in a new leader’s words brings back memories of another adored. Promises made but it takes a little more.
Words only go so far when action demands. Got to do something new to save the land. We can’t depend just on our leader’s hand.
Change has to start with every woman and man. Each one of us needs to give in spite of pride. And value truth and integrity instead of lies.
Judge others not on image but what lies inside. Realize what we lose when another person dies. Then the world will change when we change, too.
When we care enough to become someone new. And that we are not afraid to learn of the truth. The truth that there is a future for me and you.
ó Richard Morgan
Salisbury

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