Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day of President of the United States of America Barack Obama

Today we witnessed the historic inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

I realized today that "American" does not just refer to the geographic place of my birth, but to a commitment to the ideals of freedom, equality, and unity. From President Obama's inaugural speech:

...we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

In 1912 in Chicago, Illinois, `Abdu'l-Bahá offered the following prayer for America. May it come true today, and may America be a standard-bearer for a new era of freedom, oneness, and unity.

O Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal.


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