Words: Charles Regnante, Political Correspondent
On January 21st, President Barack Obama took the ceremonial oath office to begin his second term as the United States President. January 21st also happened to be Martin Luther King Day. The inauguration went as planned with a number of singers such as Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé performing traditional American songs. Afterwards, the crowds went wild as the president stepped out of his vehicle lined up on Pennsylvania Avenue and waved to the public for a short period of the inaugural parade. The parade didn’t exactly attract the same amount of viewers as it did when Obama was first inaugurated but there was a decent amount. The highlight of the day was the President’s inaugural address, which focused mostly on themes of unity and progress.
President Obama began by reverting back to the nation’s founding, saying that what binds the nation together is not the “colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origin of our names,” but instead the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Coming back to the theme of unity, Obama said that “together” the country has modernized its economy and educational system. He then rearticulated that “together” we discovered that the free market only works when there are “rules to ensure competition and fair play.”
At the end of his speech, Obama stated what he believes is needed to further America’s journey towards its highest ideals. The President stressed equal pay for women, gay rights, voting rights, immigration reform, and higher employment as the keys to the country’s progress. Remarking on the Newtown shootings, Obama stated that, “Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.” The president pledged to further the American journey as part of his oath, and urged all Americans to strive to fulfill the same oath to the flag that is “not so different” from the oath he just took.