Today was by far the best one yet. I know, given the fact that I had a debate tournament for the two prior days that isn’t much of a statement, but that really is beside the point. Anyway, today the big to do in D.C. was the WE ARE ONE Inaugural concert event at the Lincoln Memorial, and it certainly lived up to all the hype. Preshow estimates figured that about half a million people would attend the event, but from my perspective out in the crowd, it certainly seemed like a lot more than that.
So, the concert…it was great, without doubt most of you reading this have seen the event on HBO so I won’t dwell too much on the actual event, and instead will just talk about the feelings I had in the crowd, and do my best to capture the mood of everyone around me. I have to start by saying there was something different about everyone here today. On a usual crowded day, everyone is unhappy, quiet, sticking to themselves and their immediate parties, but today everybody was smiling, everybody was talking with one another, it was truly like we were one very large family. That is what our country has been missing for a long time, I would say, that connectivity—that togetherness that bonds us and reminds us all that when we exclaim,”We are Americans,” that we are held together by beliefs and shared hardships and not just location.
I think we all really felt that today. Every last one of us was there to share in a concert, and more than that, share in the beginning of the event of a lifetime, the Inauguration of a president who, as so many have said, only comes around once in a generation. As I was at the concert today, watching and listening to so many clips of our great presidents, I couldn’t help but feel connected to all of them as well. I felt like I was part of the same fervor that the 60s felt with Kennedy, the same pride the 30s felt when they rallied under Roosevelt, and the same strength the nation felt when Lincoln spoke to save the union. We are all a part of our history and our future, and everybody at the concert understands that in a way so many cannot. It is true, the theme and title of the event; we are one, and we must share in our stories and struggles if we are to remain a United States.
An excellent president can accomplish outstanding things, but what truly makes a president great are the people he represents—the people who stand up for America, who defend her when she is down, and who, most importantly, never forget the lessons of our past and the prospects of our future.