Yesterday, Inauguration Day in the U.S., was like the Fourth of July in January roundabout Exit 151. Amid the snow and ice and remnants of winter holiday decorations, many houses were resplendent with flags and bunting. I put up a flag, but cheerfully concede this one takes the cake. (Notice the number of stars – I wonder how many joys and sorrows this flag has marked.)
Reclaiming flag-waving from yahoos and scoundrels was only one of the many marvels of the day. The biggest marvel undoubtedly was the huge, excited, well-mannered crowd in Washington – DC police reported no incidents and no arrests among the eager witnesses to history. The best? I'm not sure – I loved the music, the sung and spoken word, the wise and witty benediction, but perhaps it was the inaugural address, with its triumph of reason and reasonableness, embrace of our patchwork heritage, lack of posturing and doublespeak, and explicit care for commonweal and commonwealth.
All in all, it makes me happy to wear my Grassroots Hat, knit from worsted oddments. There's a clever allegory lurking in the grassroots somewhere, but I stand content with this exclamation: three cheers for President Barack Hussein Obama!