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Skolnik on Inauguration: ‘Recognition of a New Day, We Recognized’

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on January 23, 2013

Of the thousands of think pieces and first-person narratives written about President Obama’s second inauguration, Global Grind editor-in-chief Michael Skolnik, political director to Russell Simmons, summed it up best.

Here’s a tasty excerpt:

I woke up at 4 am on Monday morning. I had gone to sleep just 90 minutes earlier. Nas told me that sleep is the cousin of death, so I try to get the least amount of it possible. On Monday morning, 90 minutes was plenty because I was lucky enough to receive a ticket to the 57th Inauguration of the President of the United States of America. Word around Washington from my friends was that most people were gonna skip the ceremony, because they “did it last time.” 90 minutes of sleep was plenty for me. I wasn’t gonna miss this moment for anything. What if it was Lincoln’s second inaugural? Kennedy’s “ask not what your country can do for you” moment? If I had to, I definitely would have slept overnight on the national mall, like I did in 2009, to hear Barack’s vision for America, but I was fortunate enough to be given a seat for this year’s occasion.

I cherish that 2009 experience (with no ticket) of sleeping on a piece of cardboard until the sun came up, but after that day, I committed myself to the movement that was led by this man who restored hope in our nation. Four years later, the campaign recognized our work to help re-elect the President and blessed us with an experience that I can’t wait to tell my son about when he is born in two months. He at least he got to hear Barack’s speech from his mother’s stomach, who sat next to me, but what he could not see was the incredible diversity in the crowd. An America that he will grow up in that will never be surprised by black Presidents or Latina Supreme Court justices. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris beautifully summed up his speech with these 121 characters, “No other president has ever told such an inclusive story of America. It’s not just rhetoric. It matters to be recognized.” Recognition of a new day, we recognized.

All our generation has ever asked for was a chance for this day to come. When we met Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, we met a visionary. That is who we elected. A man who could create a vision for our nation. A vision for a generation. For our generation. A man who believes in us, who understands us, who inspires us, who fights for us. A man who would give not just our generation, but all generations a chance to be the greatest country we could possibly be. A country that leaves no one behind. A country that turns its back on no one. A country that tolerates the differences that make us great. We have arrived at that moment, and we are ready, because we are made for this. This moment.

Read Skolnik’s full piece over at Global Grind — it’s terrific.

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