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So, it’s inauguration day. After all the concerts and the speeches, there’s nothing more standing in the way: our new president is Barack Obama.

Yesterday I headed down to the National Mall in D.C. I wanted to feel the energy in anticipation of today’s swearing-in. And let me tell you: the collective excitement was palpable.

The only way I can describe it: America was in a good mood. Yesterday, trudging around in the dark and frigid cold, there was nothing but smiles. Anyone could talk to anyone. Held together by a common joy, a common hope, there were no enemies. Vendors who would normally be shrewd were generous and friendly. People struck up conversations with ­absolute strangers of any age, race, and religion. I could see, at least in this moment, that what Obama had said was true: we are not a country of red and blue, black and white, gay and straight, young and old. We are simply a country. And a great one.

People who have not felt pride and patriotism for a long time are rejoicing. We are reminded how lucky we are, how great an establishment we represent. We are reminded of our ideals: liberty, fairness, truth. Although we don’t ­always do them justice, they are, above all, what we aim for. I think we had somewhat forgotten this, had let these great roots of America be brushed aside and overshadowed by shame and worry.

Obama was right about something else, though: rebuilding our country will not be easy. It will not be possible if the majority of Americans emotionally check out after a month or two of hardships. We have as much of a duty to this administration as our president has to us – we must promise to persevere, promise to work hard, and promise above all not to lose the hope that we have spent almost two years rallying. It will take effort, and we all need to contribute if we want the promises of this administration to come true.

I feel that we are now in a position to revolutionize the establishment. We need change, and we finally have the unity and enthusiasm necessary to create that change. We are in the ideal position to right wrongs. And standing there, among countless strangers on the National Mall, I felt that it was ­possible. And sitting here, watching the coverage of the inauguration, I feel that it is inevitable.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 21 comments. Post your own!

Sunshine15 said...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 11:01 am:
This article was soo amazing... I think it gave me a renewed sense of hope in politicians... I don't support Obama, but just the way you wrote about the nation becoming one was inredible. Awesome job!
 
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TheKingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 2:21 am:
I was neutral about this article until you said one thing, "We have as much of a duty to this administration as our president has to us." No, the citizens of the US have far more a duty to our country than our president does. A government is nothing without its people, and it is the people that allow great things to happen. As Thomas Paine points out in The Rights of Man, "society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government." Government does not supply the variety o... (more »)
 
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bluesky0728 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm:
Wow. So.... positive. Great job :)
 
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Grasshopper007 said...
Apr. 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm:
I can't believe some people don't support Obama! Look how many good things he is doing for your country!
 
saimneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm :
like what ? O____o
 
Anonymous504 replied...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm :

(sigh)

Whitehouse.gov/issues should clear this up for you.

 
TheKingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 1:44 am :
And you didn't believe this website for Bush why? (I apologize if im stereotyping, I don't know you if you did support him then never mind. If so, then that question is for others
 
Anonymous504 replied...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 10:09 am :

Hi TheKing (I have to say that is an AWESOME username),

I never thought to go there under Bush, oddly enough, but I wouldn't have believed it anyway. I didn't trust him. I DO trust Obama not to lie about the issues, however.

 
TheKingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm :
Hate to break it to ya, but hes still a politician. African-American or not, Democratic or not, President or not, politicians are in-and-of-themselves power hungry juggernauts, and will do whatever possible to receive that power. It is my impression that ALL politicians, no matter what party, are still the worst sort of people to be in public office, for the simple fact that the people that want power over others (for more information on that, see paragraphs 5 and 6 of my article John Doe: Pro... (more »)
 
Anonymous504 replied...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm :

I think that's an unfortunate stereotpe. Not all politicians are power-hungry, and I'd love to see evidence of Obama ever extending his own power.

That's a republican thing, to be frank. The federal government's power extended enormously under the "Patriot" act.

 
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TheMaisinator said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm:
This article gives me so much hope (:
 
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Mahalia S.This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 3, 2009 at 12:32 am:
His middle name? Really? Wow. Get over it. Judge a candidate by his merits, his work, his ideas. Don't judge him by his name.
 
saimneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm :
but if they go about those ideas the wrong way, its pointless. not to mention its a waste to judge someone based on their ideas and then they dont execute...
 
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i believe in dreams' said...
May 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm:
I don't like Barack.
 
Anonymous504 replied...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm :
Barack Obama is the best thing for America.
see "Obama for real, please," The thread in the forums. I don't want to explain here.
 
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HOPEMVP said...
Apr. 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm:
I really didn't look foward this day. I really had some strongly conserns with his middle name.
 
fandangopink replied...
Oct. 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm :
Honestly? His middle name? What about his beleifs and values? And ideals. His middle name? Jeez... people have way too much time on their hands. Get informed.
 
Anonymous504 replied...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 12:51 pm :
Awesome. You've just about said it!
 
saimneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm :

beliefs ? HA!

maybe actions would be a better argument... oh wait, nvm...

 
Anonymous504 replied...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm :

That's just pointless. You very obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

Just do me a favor. Go to whitehouse.gov and look at the full list of what he's done. If you have any doubts about the accuracy (which I'm sure you do) just do your research on any randomy selected item from the list. The result, I'm sure, will shock you.

 
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