Every next beginning starts with an ending of the previous.
At this writing, I have been alive for 11 U.S. Presidents. Each one had a starting, that began with the ending of the previous. Eisenhower was president the year I was born and I cannot say I have any memories of him. My first presidential awareness was JFK, and I still have the scrapbook I made beginning in 1963 of his death. LBJ memories are few, but Nixon was the president of my teen years, and the year I married. Ford was a fill-in, Carter occupied one term, Hollywood gave us Reagan, and his VP (GHWB) became the next for a single term. Clinton had two terms, and I saw a picture of him this week when he met JFK. GWB for two terms, followed by Obama for two terms.
Today, the next beginning starts with the ending of the previous. My 12th president. Donald John Trump will be handed the reigns of leading our nation. In a little over an hour, he takes the oath of office with his hand on the bible his mom gave him the year of my birth – 1955, and the bible used by Lincoln when he took his oath of office.
Such privilege for him to be where he is,
I pray for him that he is able to step up to the task
and help steer this nation forward.
I fired up my browser, found several news outlets that are broadcasting live, and I have it playing in the background as the pundits and news anchors attempt to bring some normality to this solemn occasion. The nation has been in an uproar. Supporters and protesters are many. Fear reigns, right alongside of hope. No president has been able to bridge the gap between the left and right with great success. At least in my lifetime. As I look backwards through the centuries, this one quote rings true, and I hope it speaks today as much as my historical view thought it could have been spoken then.
“With malice toward none,
and charity for all,
with firmness in the right,
as God gives us to to see the right,
let us strive on to finish the work we are in,
to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
The one thing this all reminds me of, we are often a nation divided by party. By micro points we see one win, and another loose. Nixon won all 49 states the year I graduated High School, and by a landslide he roared back into office, only to face failure in another year, and finally to resign. We are a fickle nation of left and right.
I pause for a moment to look at the news reports as the Obamas and Trumps leave the White House. The counter shows it’s only 11 more minutes till the Inaugural swearing-in ceremony. The news folkies say they are running about 15 minutes behind schedule.
My day is full, and I must go … Thoughts tomorrow about the remaining ceremony I watch on my computer, as my day rushes into being.