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January 22, 2009
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I'm not afraid to admit this: at 9:06 AM today, here in California, I was in tears.

I spent most of the day watching now-President Barack Obama's inauguration. It's been the first time I've actually been intrigued by everything leading up to the event as well as those that came after, all provided with commentary from MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson. Obama was concerned about the speech he was going to give, if it would live up to ones as John F. Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural speech. I won't make comparisons, but it was honest, to-the-point and focused on all the key issues that needed to be addressed. It was a memorable speech in my opinion.

The new president then escorted the now ex-President Bush, who was whisked away in a chopper to be taken home to Texas. As the chopper flew away, I could hear the crowds do that "na-na-na-na, hey, good-bye" song they chant at sporting events. :) Then there was the luncheon, where you could see all the important politicians and ex-presidents enjoying themselves without bi-partisanship getting in the way; I even got to see my "namesake", New York congressman Charles Rangal. After was the slow drive to the White House, but the President and First lady got out of their Cadillac limo/tank to walk a little of the way (Barack even gave a "shout-out" to weatherman Al Roker). It really was a day to remember and felt like an important day in history, if marked only by a medical emergency for Senator Ted Kennedy.

As I was watching, I didn't just see things from my perspective. I thought about everyone that I've met and known in my life and wondered what that were thinking about all this. I thought of my family: my brother and two sisters and their families, and also my mother and father that, even though they've passed away, could be watching over everything as well. I remembered my friends and classmates that I spent 8 years with at St. John Fisher School, everyone I remembered from Rolling Hills High School, and the friends I made at both Marymount College (Palos Verdes) and U.C. Irvine. Then there were all those that I met since then, the ones that left an impact on me after meeting them for the first time. That includes the people I've met who also became my Myspace friends, and the Myspace friends that I've made here and have yet to meet. I hoped that the events today were as unforgettable to them as they were for me.

I don't know what lies ahead in the next 4 years, but I have a feeling our new President will do just fine. I think everyone should be patient, since you can't solve 8 years of failed policies overnight. I hope all the change that's coming will benefit everyone.

Finally, I feel proud to be an American again.

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