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January 24, 2013

A Dozen “Mindful” Moments worth Remembering: the Second Inauguration of President Obama.

12 Mindful Highlights worth remembering from President Obama’s Second Inauguration.

On Dr. Martin Luther King Day and 50 years after The March on Washington, President Barack Obama invoked the Dr. King’s call for equality during his second inaugural speech.

And perhaps most surprisingly and most certainly at length, he highlighted climate change, for the first time, as a priority: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

Two additional highlights to the below: Myrlie Evers-Williams, the civil rights leader and widow, delivered the invocation, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” from the same level as the president.

Full Video:

1. Slow Food? Slow Money? Slow President: a Leader who Appreciates the Moment. {video}

Obama Takes One Last Look At Inauguration Crowd “I’m Not Going To See This Again.”

Pres. Obama stops to “take a look one more time” at the scene on the Mall after delivering his second inaugural address. For more CNN videos, check out http://www.youtube.com/cnn or visit our site at http://www.cnn.com/video/

2. After every party, trash. Oh, Starbucks: howwabout compostable or recycled?

3. “Through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall…”

For the first time in our history, an inaugural address mentioned the rights of gay Americans–President Obama stated that

“America’s journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.”

4. We the People: 600,000 attended, the Bidens and Obamas (like Carter) walked the parade instead of limo’ing it:

5. The First Daughters, just being girls:

And…First Photobomb:

 

“Joining the president through the long day were the first lady, Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11. The young girls were playful. Malia at one point sneaked up behind her father and cried out, “Boo!” Sasha used a smartphone to take a picture of her parents kissing in the reviewing stand, then made them do it again. Both girls bounced with the martial music at the Capitol…”

 

6. Highlights of the Parade:

7. Historical perspective:

8. Will any change we can believe in occur over the next four years? It’s up to us. Engage:

9. James Taylor sings “America the Beautiful.”

10. From Barack’s personal perspective:

11: Michelle, looking stylish and stunning. And the Obamas dancing, getting loose despite the lights and cameras and strange pomp-ful scene:

12. Finally, video and full text of Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem:

“One Today”

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.

 

For more: 10 Reasons why Obama Won.

And,

This President Can—& Must—Claim a Mandate to Govern – We should expect a great deal from him. He’s re-elected with a higher percentage of popular vote than John Kennedy, Richard Nixon in ’68, Jimmy Carter in ’76, Ronald Reagan in 1980, Bill Clinton in ’92 or ’96 or George Bush in 2000 or ’04. (thenation.com)

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