It’s Sunday morning and tomorrow is Monday, yesterday was Saturday. That’s how it rolls every week. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and we were able to tackle the Christmas decorations. Usually, we take down the decorations in February or March when the snow melts, but the snow has been gone since Christmas day and yesterday’s temperatures were more like spring than winter and we both worked in our shirt sleeves.
Friday was the inauguration of the new president. It happens every four years or every four years and a day, if the January 20 falls on a Sunday. It was a day of anticipation for many people across the United States of America. A day of anticipation because we are a nation divided.
A decade ago a popular bumper sticker adorned millions of bumpers across America:
Then it was replaced by another,
And now another bumper sticker is available.
I watched the inauguration Friday with my 8th graders we were able to watch Vice President Pence take the oath of office, and then we watched President Trump take the oath of office.
The Oath of Office:
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. United States Constitution – Article 2, Section 1
The words, So help me God have been added by every president since Washington, according to legend.
And the words are important, so important that in 2009 President Obama took the oath of office twice – first on January 20, 2009 and the following day because there were fears that muffed first oath of office could be construed as illegal. So, President Obama took the oath of office again on January 21, 2009.
They both said it, “Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of United States.” I hope and pray we are able to come together.
We are a nation divided and my class was divided, too. I heard a couple of almost silent boos from a couple of students afterwards. I had hoped to watch Trump’s inaugural address but we had a busy schedule Friday and I couldn’t. I’ll come back to it in the coming week when we compare President Lincoln’s inaugural addresses to Trump’s. I am covering the Civil War with my students and Lincoln’s words are words to remember in the time of great division.
Text of the closing of President Donald K. Trump’s Inaugural Address – January 20, 2017
So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Courtesy – The Washington Post
Text of the closing of President Abraham Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address – March 4, 1861
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. Courtesy – The Avalon Project – Yale Law School
Text of the closing of President Abraham Lincoln’s second Inaugural Address – March 4, 1865
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. The Avalon Project – Yale Law School
I am hopeful that our Constitution and the checks and balances built in to the Constitution will help President Trump to preserve, protect, and defend us all over the next four years, but I am even more hopeful that he’ll harken back to Lincoln’s words from his second inauguration and remember,
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds,
We are a nation divided and I hope and pray we can come together, work together, and work for middle ground – compromise. Because, as Lincoln also said
“A nation divided against itself, cannot stand.”
Preserve, protect, and defend. So help him God.
Today is gonna be a great day, in some ways it already is. Like every Sunday from late August until the end of May, I have a pile of work to accomplish, as I almost always do on Sunday – planning for the week ahead and assessing student work from the past week. It always gives me a boost and in sights of where I am headed. I have to look ahead and back, all at the same time. I am hopeful, I’ll get it right and help my eighth graders understand the meaning of preserve, protect, and defend. So, help me God. Making the Days Count, one day a time, preserving, protecting, and defending the right to Make the Days Count.
I am hoping and praying for peace and end to our divisions. And you?