Today, Inauguration Day, is a celebration of the moment and the future.   For me, the day is summed up in one word: wow.

Wow in the sense the United States will inaugurate its first African-American president.   One-hundred forty-six years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and forty-six years after Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I have a dream” speech, the work and dreams of two men and countless others have been realized.   Collectively, we as a nation can judge beyond the color of someone’s skin.   After all, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Wow in the sense of the peaceful transition of power.   No matter the disagreements between outgoing and incoming presidents, no matter the personal feelings of the two men, no matter any animosity that exists between the political factions of the two men and their supporters, the dream of the Founding Fathers lives on today.

Wow in the sense of a more personal reflection.   I was a supporter and admirer of soon-to-be-President Barack Obama since well before he was a candidate for president.   When I saw him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I realized this man was going somewhere, and he would take the rest of us with him.   I wrote about him, I talked to friends and family about him, I attended a rally of his, and I donated to and volunteered for his campaign.   The magnificent journey that was the 2008 presidential campaign and that I and so many others participated in comes to a close tomorrow.

But with that closure comes a new chapter.   I don’t think anyone envies Obama and the enormous task he and we face.   I have no doubt, though, as he’s demonstrated in the weeks leading up to his assumption of power today, he has the patience, the intellect, and the ambition to work for and with us to rebuild.

Tomorrow, though, we celebrate, from sea to shining sea.