Like so many others, we wOwers gathered together today to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as our 44th president. And, yes, we were inspired, brought to tears and generally elated over the changing of the guard. We can’t, however, ignore California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s words.
Opening the ceremonies, Feinstein, a woman we’ve always admired, described today’s events, quite appropriately, as a “turning point for our nation.” We are busy etching “another line in the solid stone of history” and Obama’s election proves the power of the “ballot over the bullet.”
The freedom of a people to choose its leaders is the root of liberty. In a world where political strife is too often settled with violence, we come here every four years to bestow the power of the presidency upon our democratically elected leader. Those who doubt the supremacy of the ballot over the bullet can never diminish the power engendered by nonviolent struggles for justice and equality, like the one that made this day possible. No triumph tainted by brutality could ever match the sweet victory of this hour and what it means to those who marched and died to make it a reality. Our work is not yet finished, but future generations will mark this morning as the turning point for real and necessary change in our nation. They will look back and remember that this was the moment wehn the dream that once echoed across history, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial finally reached the walls of the White House.