Watching the Obama Train

Lots of thoughts today. I got up this morning to bone chilling cold. Our home is warm, but it was -9 degrees fahrenheit outside. I thank God that we have heat and a well insulated home. Our daughter is home this weekend. She and I headed to the gym earlier for a good workout. I got in 40 minutes on the eliptical machine and Dara varied her workout among eliptical, weights and a stationary bicycle.

As we headed to the gym I let Dara know that 34 years ago I put on my dress blues and headed to work at the Naval Hospital in New London, Connecticut and reported to the officer of the day who signed my orders to leave. That was my last day of active duty. I was happy to be going home. Now, all this time later I’d like one more day with or at least a few hours with those men and women with whom I served. I’d like to say thank you again and catch up a bit. The perspective at 56 years of age is different than it was at 22.

I’ve been relaxing on the couch next to our pellet stove most of the rest of the day. I had some rice krispies with milk and honey which is my favorite breakfast.  I’ve been watching C-Span, CNN and MSNBC most of the day to see President-elect Obama, Vice-President-elect Joe Biden and their wives touch the lives of millions of Americans with their train ride from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.  There is quite a contrast from four and even eight years ago.  Obama isn’t God and he’s got his work cut out for him but people everywhere along that route and in much of our country and around the world are excited too. I’ve been thinking about my nephew Tom who is a sailor serving in the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard in DC. Tom’s going to be marching with our new president on Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday. I wish I could be there. I’m so proud of Tom and wish I could be there in person to see him. Many times today I’ve been moved to tears as I watched the President-elect’s train and listened to he and other speak along the way.

My brother Brian and his friend Lillian will be in Washington for the inaugural too.  Lillian stood on the mall with Dr. King in 1963 as a teenager. How special for her to return now to see a member of her race inaugurated. I’ve been thinking too of Dr. King himself and what he would have thought of all of this.  Today is a day that makes me proud to be an American. It’s one of those signature days.  I’m grateful to be an American and a veteran of the United States Navy. I salute my countrymen, our President and Vice-President Elect, their families and the millions of soldiers, sailors, marines and coast guardsman who serve us. God bless America and may America bless God again.