Today Barack Obama takes the oath of office of the president of the United States. The oath is written into the Constitution:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."Short and sweet, but oh, so full of responsibility--to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Nothing else.
Perhaps it's again time to take a look at our Constitution. It's available online here. Read it. It's not that long. If you don't understand it, we have a number of explanatory items for you to explore, including many children's books. I always recommend starting in the children's section first. Children's writers do a fine job of reducing complex concepts to more simply understood ones. Look in J 342.73. In the adult section, The U.S. Constitution: A Primary Source Investigation into the Fundamental Law of the United States by Heather Moehn [342.73 MOE] will put the Constitution into its historical context.
We must remember also, that it is up to us to hold our president's feet to the fire on preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution!
The swearing in begins at noon, and, I'm sure, will be rebroadcast many times over the next few days. If you'd like to compare Obama's inaugural address to those of his predecessors, the speeches are all collected here.
Bits and pieces of presidential speeches since the time of Calvin Coolidge can be heard at the NPR website.
I hope you'll join me in wishing President Obama all the best in his term as our president!
Finally, here's a little brother to make you smile: