Tags: Barack Obama, Inauguration memories, Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Parade, watching history
On January 20, 1977, I was just over 5 years old. I was in kindergarten that year and what I remember was the parade. What I remember is sitting on the carpet in front of the TV in our first family home in Sparta, MI. I am not sure if I was watching the original telecast, but I could have been because I was the morning kindergarten class. It could have been a recast, though. At first I enjoyed watching President and Mrs. Carter walking down Pennsylvania Ave. Then, I got very bored of listening to all the talking and wished that I could watch something else. Today, I think Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Parade was perfect for him. He was and is a down to earth, good man. Although there had already been two presidents during my then short life, Jimmy Carter is the first I remember. Although my memories of him as president are dark due to the Iran Hostage Crisis that was to come, I am glad to have the memory of what it was like for a very young child to watch such a parade. Because I remember Jimmy Carter’s day, I know that Emma, my 6 year old kindergartner, will remember Barack Obama’s.
Emma is in school today and I am at work. She may get to watch the festivities at school, but just in case I’m DVRing it for later. I would love to sit and watch Obama’s parade with her. She will be a member of the first generation not to know an America without an African American president. For her and her classmates, race will not be something that will keep a man from becoming the President of the United States. When a man can become president, a man can do anything. I hope that we don’t have to wait for Emma to watch an inaugural parade with her oldest child before the same can be said of women.
Happy Inauguration Day! Please leave a comment to this post about your impressions of today’s inauguration. What did you think of the speech? The parade? What do you think was the most memorable moment? What did you children think? All comments about the inauguration left today will qualify to win a copy of Clarence B. Jones’ book, What Would Martin Say?