The millions are making their way back home. The powerful and the glamorous, the well-connected and the well-heeled, the middle-managers and the teachers, the aging airmen, the young soldiers, the entreprenuers and the unemployed, the great multi-colored throng that filled the streets of Washington have nearly all left. Tomorrow it’s back to the factory, the school, the board room, the battallion. Tomorrow it’s back to work. For the new President and for all of us.
There is so much to do, and so little time to get it done. It’s as if we have rolled back the clock to those days after 9-11, when America was united in grief, yet this time we are united in hope. This time, we don’t have to squander the world’s support. This time, we don’t have to become that which we hate in our zeal to defeat those who hate us. This time we can get it right.
We will need to remember that our new President is only a man, and men are not gods. Men fail. Men lie. Men disappoint. But men also succeed. We must hold our new President accountable, we must admonish him when he appears to be drifting from the ideals that have brought this fractured nation together. We need not follow blindly.
We do not yet possess a perfect Union, we do not yet have justice for all, we are not yet assured of domestic tranquity. But we do have a common good, a general welfare and the blessings of liberty. It is our task to always stay in pursuit of those goals, never satisfied that they are fully attained, never sure that they will endure forever.
Providence has provided us a second chance. This generation can secure its place in history if we can only keep those crowds in our mind’s eye: all those people who believe, who trust, who have stepped out in faith. We must not let them or the generations to follow down.
Let’s do this. Starting tomorrow.