The new normal
[All images by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]
[NOTE: More photos from the Inauguration can be seen HERE.]
One of the things that has always struck us with both Barack Obama’s campaign events and his inaugurations has been the diversity of the crowds. All races are represented. Men and women. Young and old. Straight and gay. Abled and disabled. All these folks are represented. It’s a fine tribute to the way he governs.
This next young lady spent her time waiting for President Obama to speak making a flag from the gravel in the area where her dad was standing. There is even a tiny stone eagle at the top of the flag pole!
This is Leon, the IT guy from New York City mentioned in our previous photoblog:
A final thing that struck me was how normal Barack Obama’s reelection was. The crowd was about half the 2 million we saw in 2009 and there weren’t nearly as many references to history being made or of the historical significance of his presidency. It really hit me when, the next day, we visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial:
There were, of course, a few folks my age and older who stood quietly, saying a prayer or simply showing reverence to the Reverend and all that he had accomplished on behalf of minorities and the poor. One man about my age walked by me quietly, exchanging a nod, with tears rolling down both of his cheeks.
But what was in some ways more profound were the kids yucking it up and snapping photos of themselves in front of the statue of Dr. King. For them, his life and accomplishments seemed a distant thing that didn’t really impact their lives. They seemed to be there mainly to get their photo in front of the memorial, some of them hamming it up or striking a pose.
I think Melissa Harris-Perry sums up my feelings the best:
President Obama’s reelection is, in certain ways, more important even though it’s less emotional because it says that African Americans having a stake, a governing stake in this country is just normal, regular. Maybe even unremarkable? In a certain way that’s more valuable for our understanding of equality than the celebration of the first time it happened. It’s really when it becomes something that you don’t even talk about anymore that you know we’re moving toward some kind of racial equality.
Here’s one more panoramic image. This one was taken immediately after President Obama completed the oath of office for a second time and, if you zoom in, you can see him shaking Chief Justice Roberts’ hand and his wife and kids smiling:
Click HERE to open the panoramic image in a new window to view fullscreen, then click on fullscreen icon on toolbar. Note that you can used the controls or your mouse to scroll back and forth and to zoom in and out.
To view more images from President Obama’s second inauguration, click HERE.