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Reflections On The Presidential Inauguration


It seems, based on observation of friends and colleagues that  the 57th Presidential Inauguration 

was either a time of great hope and optimism or one of apprehension and despair. One thing 

is for certain – it was a historic event.  Never before had an African-American strode to the 

podium for the second time to take the oath of office for our nation’s most prominent position 

of leadership.  It seems appropriate to reflect on the day’s significance, summed up best by the 

immortal words of Ronald Reagan in his 1981 inauguration speech:  “The orderly transfer of 

authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, 

and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this 

every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.”

Of course Mr. Reagan continued on to describe the issues, concerns, fears, needs, hopes, and 

dreams of the America he was about to lead, and the same can be said today for President 

Obama.   He is probably quite aware that there are dissenters to his policies with regard to 

economics, health care, entitlements, and gun control, to name a few.  On the other hand he also possesses the power, along with colleagues in Congress, to enact the programs he feels will best benefit the country and make a difference for generations to come.  How he handles this delicate 

balance of leadership these next four years will define the America that our teenage children will 

inherit as they enter the workforce.  We would do well to pray that he successfully navigates 

these treacherous waters, because so much is riding on the outcome. We would also do well to 

set an example of leadership and respect for the elected officials from the town level all the way 

up to President Obama . “ Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for 

your country”

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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