I have no words for how happy and hopeful I am on this day. As Barak Obama, 44th President of the United States of America took his oath of office, I cut off the black wristband I have worn in mourning and protest every day since Inauguration Day 2005. I have an art piece planned for it.
And I cheered as the outgoing Criminal-In-Chief took his leave. Yes, Dubya -- we survived you and your disastrous reign, because we are a greater nation than even your evil regime could tear down. We have shaken you off at last, and look ahead with hope and renewed purpose as your rotted administration crumples to the ground.
Good riddance, you incompetent, arrogant, selfish bastard. May you rot in hell.
I watched the entirety of the day's festivities, from the official start at 7 AM PST to the last of the parade around 4:30 this evening. In the parade, I saw the Crow Nation Horse Mounted Unit from Crow Agency, Montana -- the reservation some 70 miles north of my hometown of Sheridan -- and Shoshone and Arapahoe representatives from Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, all three tribes in full native regalia, march past our new President and First Lady. There were 11 Native American tribes represented in the parade. After 8 years of being ignored and insulted by the Bush Administration, tribal elders from Native American nations across the country are the most hopeful they've ever been that the President will work with them for a better future for their people. Our people.
Members of the AFL-CIO marched, too. Men and women of all backgrounds and colors and creeds marched together in matching blue jackets with the yellow emblems of the "Change to Win" movement, carrying uniform banners that said things like "An Economy that Works for All" and "Great Public Schools" and "Good Jobs, Green Jobs" and "Health Care for All". They pushed strollers with children bundled for the weather, everyone grinning from ear to ear, greeted by the enthusiastic smiles and waves of our new President and First Lady. These are my people, too. My tribe.
The living members of the Tuskegee Airmen were there, too. They were saluted by all those watching in the President's viewing platform. And marching bands from high schools and colleges and military academies across the country played their hearts out in freezing temperatures, traveling hundreds and thousands of miles and waiting patiently for their turn to shine, smiles wide and heads held high while the President and First Lady looked on, watching and waving to every single group that passed by their box. President Obama's high school was represented by the school's marching band, the first time they had ever been invited anywhere to march. They traveled more than 6,000 miles to be there.
Satellite photos of the Washington Mall show millions -- millions -- of people come to watch and celebrate. The vast majority could not see or hear anything of the events, knowing to cheer only as the wave of cheers from the crowds before them rolled in their direction. There were more people gathered in the Mall, and along the parade route from the Capitol to the White House, than the entire populations of 25 U.N. nations.
America celebrated today, and the world celebrated with us. It's a new day, everyone.