Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Presidential Inauguration

I love to watch the inauguration of a U.S. President, and have watched, via TV, the inauguration of each President starting with JFK. Maybe it's because I majored in Government and Politics (and maybe too because as an employee of the Federal Govt in the D.C. area, we always got the day off!). I love the pageantry and the patriotism of the day. Whatever one's political views, the peaceful transition of power from one leader to another demonstrates again and again the strength of our Constitution. (Above: White House photo by Paul Morse.)

While the storm clouds gather
far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance
to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful
for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices
in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains
To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

This "unofficial national anthem" was written by Russian immigrant Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised in 1938. A 1938 recording by singer Kate Smith initially made the song a huge hit, and it remains well known to this day.
God bless the United States of America.

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