The Change Begins

Happiness, joy and excitement can be some of the words used to describe how many of Millersville University students felt as they gathered to watch President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday.

“I’ve been looking forward to this because it’s time for new strong ideas in the White House that will help our economy and a fresh start for America,” said junior Sarah Felter.

The seats in the Student Memorial Center MPR were filled by students and faculty members who came together to watch the historical event.

Students and staff join in the Student Memorial Center's Multi-Purpose Room to watch the historical Inauguration. Photo by Christian Shuts.
Students and staff join in the Student Memorial Center's Multi-Purpose Room to watch the historical Inauguration. Photo by Christian Shuts.

As the new president finished his inaugural speech, he received many cheers, clapping and a standing ovation by those watching.

NBC News reported that the crowd at the National Mall was close to 1.8 million.

This would exceed Lyndon Johnson’s record in 1965 with a turnout of 1.2 million, according to the Washington Post.

As Obama took oath, many large cities across the nation held celebrations watching the presidential inauguration on a large screen.

Celebrations around the world included Obama’s father’s hometown in Kenya where many came together to watch the inauguration.

Sworn in by Chief Justice, John G. Roberts Jr., Obama placed his left hand upon the bible, held by First Lady, Michelle Obama that belonged to 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.

This was the first time Lincoln’s Bible has been used in a presidential inauguration, which marks an important and special moment in which the United States has it’s first African-American president.

“I think the fact that Lincoln’s Bible was used in the ceremony is a very remarkable symbol,” said junior Amy Blevins. “It shows just how far our country has come and that anything is possible.”

After Vice-President, Joseph Biden, and President Obama took their oath in office, the new president addressed the nation with his inaugural speech making many bold statements about various challenges and changes that he will face in the next four years including the economic crisis.

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the remaking of America,” Obama said. “The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.”

On the topic of terrorism, Obama gave this message to those who threaten our homeland; “We say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

The transition of presidents from George W. Bush to Barack Obama was operationally smooth and seemingly respectful.

A team of movers arrived at the White House Tuesday to move the Obama’s into their new home after former president and first lady George W. and Laura Bush departed.

Just seconds after Obama ended his inaugural speech with “And God bless the United States of America,” the White House’s official website was changed by the click of a button with a new layout displaying the headline “Change Has Come to America.”

President Obama’s day ended with ten official inaugural balls planned by the inaugural committee.

One of them included a first-ever Neighborhood Ball in which anyone was able to attend for free or at a low cost.

At the Neighborhood Ball, Obama thanked the American people “for what you do to make America better.”

He explained that the Neighborhood Ball was important and it “best captured the tone of the campaign.”

Jan. 20, 2009 is now a day in history which will be remembered by millions, and written in our future history textbooks.

Obama’s words were absorbed by millions around the world including many proud citizens.

“The thing that stuck out the most to me about the inauguration was how little separation there is of church and state,” senior Meredith Anderson said. “Overall, I was impressed by President Obama’s speech and I hope it serves as a good indication of the next four years.

“His willingness to admit the struggles that lie ahead while still reassuring the American public, and the world, that we can do it together helped remind me why he is our 44th President.”