Moving toward a more perfect union

As we ponder the wonderful movement in American politics that President Barack Obama represents in terms of minority access to the mechanisms of real power in our country, it may also seem fitting to analyze some of what he said during his inaugural speech in order to know what our role can be to help in the nation time of need. Obama started out by saying he was âÄúhumbled, grateful and mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.âÄù But he also mentioned âÄúgathering clouds and raging storms.âÄù Some sacrifices will be needed now much more than at any time since the greatest generation led our country. But imbued with the knowledge of what Americans can and have already accomplished through sacrifice and through service for their children and grandchildren should instill confidence in us all. But Obama wasnâÄôt talking about the kind of service that pays homage to racial division, class warfare or red and blue states. He was talking about what the founding fathers were talking about: that all are created equal, all are free and all deserve the chance to go after their fair measure of the pursuit of happiness. In invoking the memory of our collective American ancestors, Obama reminded us that America didnâÄôt become great through shortcuts or settling for less, but through hard work and risk-taking âÄî and from doers. As a citizen of this country and an African-American, I am especially proud of what we have accomplished in becoming the first predominately white western nation to elect a black man to the highest office in the land. It is a shinning example of what Obama called âÄúthe quiet force of progress throughout our history.âÄù But with the willingness and support of the American people to role up our collective sleeves, we can ensure a great future for ourselves and future generations. Paul Edward Hamilton is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]