Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Hail to the Chief
A great speech. A great ceremony. Other than the speech, my favorite part was the John Williams piece, "Air and Simple Gifts." Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill and Gabriela Montero are amazing musicians and the piece was beautiful. And from a technical standpoint, I can't believe they were able to play so beautifully and keep their instruments in tune in such cold and wind.
But I thought the composition itself was poignant. Perlman and Yo Yo Ma were tossing the secondary theme back and forth at the start of the piece. And then Anthony McGill (pictured above) took over the melody and first introduced the "Simple Gifts" theme. There was a lot of symbolism in that for me.
The speech was great, as I knew it would be. Here were some favorite parts:
"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."
"We are ready to lead once more."
"We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
P.S. Pres. Obama is left-handed. They were just saying on NBC that he is the 5th left-handed president in a row.
P.P.S. The other interesting part of the coverage was when they showed the movers transferring the Bush's possessions out of the White House and moving the Obama's posessions in. Also, this website changed over at 12:01 p.m. today. Very interesting how things move forward.