Changing history: One of two "magic" Obama flags my Canadian friend Gillian bought last month during our whirlwind trip to New York. The flag is perched on an architectural model. I wanted to photograph the Obama flag in various locations around Paris, but it rained. Come back soon for the story of the magic flags and more.
For most Americans, this is a momentous day. I am overcome with emotion: bursting with pride and alternately weeping with joy or laughing out loud because today BARACK OBAMA IS OUR PRESIDENT! It was a long, hard road, but together, we worked hard and made it happen.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all who took this restless -and at times harrowing - journey; to those who supported and encouraged my political posts and reminded me that every voice matters. I wish we were all together in one big room, drinking toasts to our new president! Tonight, when we pop the champagne corks, I will be thinking of you, with awe and amazement at what we've accomplished.
But after the champagne's gone flat and the fireworks fizzle, our real work begins. We can't afford to be complacent. If we learned anything during the last eight years of Bush-Cheney and one disaster after another, it is that we cannot take our eye off the ball or lose sight of our moral compass, beliefs and principles. We cannot just sleepwalk amidst our personal comfort zones, while things fall apart around us. We cannot expect our government to solve all our problems; as citizens we share responsibilities for our nation's welfare.
It's important that we get involved and make a difference in our communities. We need to volunteer in local government; in our schools; hospitals; civic organisations; human rights groups; charities. We need to write our Congressmen and women and question their choices. We need to speak out when we witness injustices. Silence is no longer an option.
We are all in this together - and that's evidenced - especially on this bright, auspicious day - by the shining eyes and smiling faces of my fellow Americans, rich in our diversity. What unites us is stronger than what divides us. So let's celebrate - we deserve it! Tomorrow, we start to heal the gaping wounds of our country.
Le Monde, Paris. "The era of Obama: Patriotism, but without nationalism."
Le Parisien. "The 44th President. Everything follows the inauguration of Obama."
Le Figaro's special section about the US presidential inauguration. Note the way the American flag wraps around their banner.
France Soir. "Remember our history and the lessons of Martin Luther King."
Les Echos. "The new America."
The International Herald Tribune.