Halls filled to see Obama inauguration

By Brook Stalling.
On Tuesday, Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office of the President of the United States, becoming the nation’s 44th president. Over 400 BCC community members watched a live broadcast of the occasion at Carlson Theater. BCC’s campus was shrouded by a dense, freezing fog as students, faculty, and staff filed in to the standing-room-only event. Some faculty members canceled class so that their students could attend. Obama spoke at length on the theme of shared sacrifice, championing “a new era of responsibility” in which Americans would apply old values such as courage, tolerance, and hard work to attack the problems of the nation. Obama began by thanking former President Bush for his service and help during the transition. However, some of the biggest bouts of applause from the BCC audience welcomed lines such as “…we have chosen hope over fear,” “We will restore science to its rightful place,” and “…we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” The speech advocated pragmatism over ideology. “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works,” Obama said. Obama ended the 21 minute speech with the following words: “…let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.” After the dignitaries had arrived, and “Hail to the Chief” was played for President Bush for the last time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the inauguration ceremony to order. Rev. Rick Warren gave the invocation, then Aretha Franklin sang “My Country