This weekend, I was given the once-in-a-life time opportunity to attend Obama’s 2013 inauguration with a delegation of selected Yalies. The journey to Washington DC overnight on Sunday, the 4am wake and march up the National Mall, the overwhelming feeling of being a part of history, mine and the world’s, the handholding with friends and acquaintances to keep warm, the breath-taking live performances, the feeling of being a part of something bigger and better than ourselves, turning back to look at the massive crowds behind us, everything in everything, was nothing short of a rare moment. It was nothing short of a coagulation of rare adventures and minutes, rare rendez-vous and events, rare scenes and crowds, engaging with rare people and rare issues. I say this with the least bit of exaggeration, but the greatest emphasis on dreams actually becoming realities – dreams from many years ago, “dreams from all our fathers”, dreams of tomorrow already coming true – In these rare moments, so much more became clear to me. Perhaps, I will publish the piece Yale is making me write up for them here when it is done. I hope I do the writing of my simply rare experience justice.
But for now, to honor the man of the moment, I am pasting up here what I think is one of the best, eloquently put, speeches of our times. The content thereof, I will perhaps discuss much later too. But for now, here are my favorite quotes from President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech, 2013:
1. “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”
2. “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”
3. “But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.”