... since I was part of a massive gathering such as we're seeing in Washington today? Yes, it has. What I'm seeing and hearing today reminds me of a cold-but-sunny afternoon in our nation's capital, in 1965, and a piece of history that passed by as I stood with the crowds along Pennsylvania Avenue.
It was Innauguration Day for President-Elect Lyndon Johnson. Preparations for the event included assembling an honor guard of military personnel from all services, lining the parade route and other areas where innauguration festivities were taking place. This included my dad's unit from Quantico, a Marine base in nearby Virginia. He was called-up, and the rest of the family got to go along and join the crowds. I remember it as a crowded and noisy day. There was a celebratory air to it all.
It was an exciting time then ... and it's an exciting time now.
And it's a hopeful time. For all the derision the word has received from local online punditz ... this is a time for HOPE. For today, at least, there is music and celebration, noble images and brave words ... and there is hope, as there is at all innaugurations. Whether or not that hope is realized, of course, remains to be seen. But today we are hopeful. Today, we must all be hopeful. HOPE is a word that must not be reserved for one person, one political party, or one philosophy. It is a word we must all use, and a concept we must all do our best to realize ... whether it's in the halls of our nation's capital, or the streets of Midland, Texas.
Now, 44 years after I glimpsed a bit of history motor by, I remain hopeful. God bless President Obama, God bless America, God bless us all.