Recognizing the Historical Significance of This Day

As part of a multi-racial family, growing up it was always strange to have people ask how the white, black or Asian standing next to one of us could be a brother, sister or cousin. Maybe we were naive, but to us we were just family.
2nd & 3rd Generations

Like so many families, our diverse political spectrum of beliefs mirrors that of the country. Because there is a measure of color-blindness, not everyone within our family is necessarily aware of the other’s experiences in life based on how the rest of the world saw us. As one who proudly cast a vote for Barack, but knowing I was in the minority (again!), I wanted to be sure we of all people put aside party lines, so this e-mail was sent out on the eve of Obama’s inauguration:

4 Generations
I know we don’t all share the exact same political views, but I hope we can all acknowledge the important significance of what it means for our country to be inaugurating an African American as our 44th President.

I am proud to be part of our multi-cultural family, but whether you realize it or not, those of us who do not share biological blood have had experiences in life (both good and bad) just because of the color of our skin (or the slant of our eyes). Honoring the significance of Obama’s inauguration doesn’t mean one has to agree with all his policies, but recognizes the struggle of our country as a melting pot and what it signifies that our next leader is a minority.

I thank President Bush for his service to our country. None of us will ever know what it takes to make the tough decisions under some of the circumstances he’s faced the last eight years. Again, we don’t have to agree with all his choices, to honor his service to the nation.

I hope the spirit of Obama’s inauguration will remain with our country for his entire presidency. Party lines aside, the more successful he is as President, the better we as a country will be.

If it’s at all possible, I encourage you to take the time to watch Barack Obama’s swearing in tomorrow as this is truly a historical time.

Sampling of 2 Generations

“Here! Here! Well said… I remember growing up on the east side of Waterloo how mom and dad always were champions for improving race relations. I also remember Dad speaking out about this same topic in Des Moines and then finding a burning cross in our yard shortly thereafter and a black crow actually placed inside our home if you can believe that.

While Laura and I consider ourselves strong conservatives and don’t agree with some of Obama’s views and positions it is so important that we all get behind this man with our prayers. As Christians we have a biblical mandate to pray for those in leadership positions, especially our president!

Our pastor spoke along these [same] lines as you, in our church on Sunday. He is taking his entire church staff to his home today so they can watch this historic inauguration together. God bless Obama and his leadership in this great country of ours.” John

Sampling of 3 Generations

“Truly inspiring notes [from you and] John…. Thanks for the reminder that humanity transcends political ideology; decency, love and respect should define our behavior.” Brian

“Well said… I have been praying for Obama and his family. The way of the presidency has always been challenging, and that’s an understement if there ever was one. But he enters office at a daunting time. God help him, and help us all, here in America and around the world.” Mama’

Sampling of 3rd Generation

“Thanks – that was very well said. I saw the clip of a BBC interview with Dr. King in 1964 when he said he believed America could see the election of an African American to the White House in as little as 40 years. I remember the 60’s – and how impossible that seemed! Yet, now only 44 years after that interview, we are watching the first African American sworn into the office of the President of the United States. This is an exciting time to be alive! While we may not agree with the politics, we do rally around our new president with prayer and support – I loved your comment – “I hope the spirit of Obama’s inauguration will remain with our country for his entire presidency. Party lines aside, the more successful he is as President, the better we as a country will be.” This is what makes America a great nation!

A side note from a “missionary” perspective – this is a testimony and witness to the world that transitions in governments can get done peacefully, with great grace! As I watched President-elect and Mrs. Obama arrive at the White House this morning, and how President & Mrs. Bush greeted them with great smiles, I thought only a year ago, I had to cancel my trip to Kenya because of political unrest due to the outcome of an election. We were in the area of Obama’s Kenya heritage during the election this year – and the comments we heard the most were along the lines of the way we as Americans can bitterly disagree, but still transition peaceably. I may not have voted for Mr. Obama, but I totally support our President – and pray for his strength and success!” Peter & Donna

I received two responses (representing each side) I chose not to share. We are blessed to be able to call one another family, but like a lot of America, politics is one topic best left alone at the dinner table.

The family referenced in this post actually began with two brothers of German heritage. Between their two families there are fourteen children including three Korean adoptees, one Japanese adoptee, two African American adoptees and one domestic adoptee (racial identity unknown). Those fourteen children have expanded and added thirty grandchildren who continue the family tree with the continual addition of great grandkids!

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