I am not American, but I am still greatly excited and moved by this moment in History. I am so grateful I got to see this day and witness, if only through the TV, Obama's inauguration.
Although there is a monumental task facing Obama and his new administration, his speeches both on the day he was elected and the day he was sworn in speak of hope. This, to me is one of the most profound things about Obama. Despite all that the US and Obama himself faces, He retains a hope and idealism; an idealism not steeped in denial, but in deep belief and conviction.
I was moved that Obama spoke directly not only to Americans but to the whole world. That he did not shy away from speaking to the difficult issues of Bush's legacy but also openly welcomed a new relationship between the US and the other nations of the world.
Whether people voted for Obama or not, I hope that all will recognise the importance of the new hope that this change can bring. Changes not only to the US, but to the whole globe; to poverty, justice, education, health care, economics and politics worldwide.
I am not a naive idealist. I recognise that Obama will fall short, as all Presidents and administrations are bound to do, but I have a firm belief in the power of hope and faith to be a force to be reckoned with.
I am also reminded today that nothing can change without others enacting this hope as well. One man, with all the vision in the world, is not enough. Those of us, like Obama, who believe in and look forward to real change must move to engage as well.
I look forward to many more historic days to come in the next four to eight years.