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At this writing, we have one president. As you read this, we have another.
As I pen these words, we are teetering on the brink of history, and as you read this, history has come to life.
Millions of Americans have flocked to our great nation’s capital for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, and to experience history.
At noon Jan. 20, Obama will have placed his hands upon Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and take a historic oath of office, shedding the suffix of “-elect,” and joining the world’s most exclusive club as the 44th President of the United States of America.
If anyone told me a year ago a freshman senator from Illinois would take the reigns as America’s Commander in Chief this week, I probably would have thought they were crazy. But he did—promising change and intoxicating voters and the media alike.
While a significant percentage of Americans and people throughout the world will collectively exhale during this historic changing of the guard, I want to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing president.
Under the Bush administration we have had more than 2,680 days without an attack on American soil. Before Sept. 11, 2001, we probably would have taken this number for granted, always expecting to be safe. But we live in a different world than we did before those towers fell.
Of course, it’s not just the administration that has kept us safe—it’s the men and women fighting for our freedoms and our safety who should be applauded.
When Obama is sworn in as No. 44—on day 2,684 of continued security and freedom—he will inherit two wars and a dismal economy. Work for him and his administration begins immediately. How will he ensure our safety, both on our soil and on foreign fronts?
Measures taken by the outgoing administration to ensure our safety have been extremely controversial. Some Bush administration opponents claim they didn’t work, some say they were unnecessary, some even say they were criminal.
But, again, for nearly 2,700 days, we have risen each morning in a free America, a safe America, and that is no accident.
So, to all the opponents, all the people who want to blame everything wrong in the world on Bush—question, doubt, say whatever you want about the decisions that were made in the past seven years. It’s your right as a citizen of this great nation.
The 16th century philosopher and politician Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
I would rather spend the rest of my life listening to people question and criticize Bush and members of his administration for what they did than spend one moment wondering why they did nothing.
With that, I thank our outgoing commander in chief and the dedicated men and women fighting on the front lines for our freedom, and wish our new president good luck and Godspeed.
Here’s to another 2,684 days of freedom and security, and many, many more.