America’s President-elect, Barack Obama, is now on a train heading to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. I felt a chill run through my body as I read in the New York Times that his journey has started. It is such an exciting time as our new president begins the first step toward his final destination, the White House, as our 44th President.
The train the Obama family is traveling in was built in 1930 and is named the Georgia 300. The New York Times reports that the Obamas boarded the train at the 30th Street station in Philadelphia. This train trip is homage to Abraham Lincoln and his 1861 journey to the White House. Vice President Biden and his family will join the Obama family on the train in Wilmington, Delaware.
The NY Times reports that President-elect Obama stated: “…I will not be traveling alone. I will be taking with me some of the men and women I met along the way, Americans from every corner of this country, whose hopes and heartaches were the core of our cause; whose dreams and struggles have become my own.”
As Barack Obama begins his hugely challenging new job as America’s president it is impossible to not notice how history is so deeply imbedded in his journey. He clearly holds Lincoln as a hero in his heart. He is displaying an elegant sense of tradition in emulating Lincoln’s journey. America hopes Barack Obama, like Lincoln, will always have the courage to fight for what is right and take strong action to right injustices.
As so many Americans are struggling through challenging times right now it is wonderful to see a new leader step to the helm of our country that is so full of achievement and has worked so hard to obtain his accomplishments. As Obama reminds us to cherish our history and learn from it I think about what I always refer to as my “100 year old bracelet” though it is older than that now.
This bracelet belonged to my Great grandmother. It is inscribed with her initials. She was from the South (Virginia) and she had a lot of fancy stuff. Much of it resides with me now. When I look at the bracelet and some of her other belongings I often wonder at how much America has changed since she married in 1888.
Her wedding ring is inscribed with that year. I loved to look at it. I owned it for a decade or so after my Mother gave it to me; then my Aunt asked for it and though it pained me I did give it to her because I have rings from my Grandmother so it seemed more appropriate that she have the ring from her Grandmother too. She lives in the South so the ring is back in its native region.
Now I look at the old bracelet and it gives me comfort during tough times. It has survived through so much change in America. Its age somehow seems to say “don’t stress” whatever is bothering you now is but a blip in the larger scheme of life.
I wore the bracelet the day I went to vote for Obama. I had the thought that my Great Grandmother never could have imagined when she was wearing the bracelet in Virginia that someday that same bracelet would be worn on the day a mixed race man was elected president of the United States.
Our country is undergoing an amazing transformation. As old traditions merge with the change forthcoming it will be fascinating to watch America begin a new phase under an amazing new president.