History has just been made. Barack Hussein Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and is the first African-American to hold that title.

This inauguration began with the four-whistle train ride from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., akin to the one Abraham Lincoln took centuries prior. In addition, Obama was also sworn in with his hand on the same Bible Abraham Lincoln used during his inauguration—a presidency peppered with history, indeed.

But Obama’s inauguration and tenure is historic in other terms as well. The United States is in what some are calling Great Depression 2.0—jobs are being shipped overseas and families are losing their savings at an alarming rate. There are conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world that America just can’t seem to end. The country’s image in the world has been tarnished by eight years of failed government. Washington politics are broken, corrupt and have gone against the very essence of democracy, that is a government from, for and by the people.

It bears repeating: this is a historic presidency at a historic moment in time.

So after the pomposity is over and everyone has settled down, in the end, Barack Obama needs to roll up his sleeves and get to work. The pressure is definitely on. He will have to begin the difficult task ahead of him as the world watches from behind his shoulder with cautious optimism. He will have to mend broken relationships and forge new ones. He will have to fulfill the promises of hope and change that carried him all the way to the highest political position in the world. He will have to prove that his profundity is not only superficial, not only present in his rousing speeches but in his actions as well. He will have to bring the government back to where it belongs—the people.

It seems like so much for one person, but President Obama realized the burdens of the office even before he announced his candidacy. This is what he signed up for. There’s no excuse. He’s got to step up to the plate (as do we).

This author congratulates President Obama on his historic inauguration and wishes him well on the road ahead. I hope he doesn’t disappoint as his immediate predecessor did. I hope he fulfills the promises he made to America (and essentially to the world).  God bless him. God bless the country and the Free World he now leads.


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