Along with many other people in the world, we watch the inauguration on TV. I admit to leaking tears through most of it…it made me proud. I’ve written before about how intensely one must feel to make the decision to turn their back on the country of their birth, to give up their nationality and deny the history written in their blood. It’s not an easy thing to do at all.
Every American has a family history. Although I am unfamiliar with all of our family stories, the ones of the Russian ancestors who left Odessa, the English and Scots, the Germans, I am familiar with one part of our story. Our Irish ancestors came to New York and scrubbed the stoops of buildings to keep food on the table. Later, they were part of the great Land Rush, where they rode out to stake out a part of the new land, to have a home and a place to stand and raise a family. Obama’s speech makes me remember those ancestors and what they stood for, what they fought and starved for…to have a place where they could be free to dream, and realise those dreams.
For a long time we lost those dreams in greed and bigotry and outright criminal acts. But I feel hope again. It is indeed a day to “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America”.
Will I ever go back? No…this is home. But for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel as angry. I don’t feel as betrayed. I think this is going to be a wonderful time in history.