January 20, 2017
It may have been a wet and dreary day in Washington, but even the weather couldn't dampen the excitement of hundreds of thousands of Americans who made the trip to see Donald Trump make history. Two months after completing the most stunning upset in a half-century, a Republican with one of the most unlikely stories in politics started writing a new chapter for America. It was a long journey for the New Yorker, who was counted out from the start. Few believed that a man who had never held political office could one day hold the highest one in the world.
Now, with his hand on two Bibles -- one from his childhood and the other Abraham Lincoln's -- his bid to restore the country after the one of the darkest and most tumultuous periods in our nation is finally a reality. With the rain seeming to wash away some of the stains and frustration of the last eight years, I had the unique privilege of sitting on the platform with congressional leaders and witness the peaceful transfer of power that ushered in a renewed hope for the future. A new day for religious liberty, the unborn, and our families has dawned -- and an awakened Church stands ready to reclaim her place in everyday life. The winds of change, the Washington Post reflected, are starting to stir.
As the new president said, "From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land." And that vision is one of exceptionalism and a return to the values that make America the greatest nation on earth. "Together," President Trump continued, "We will make America proud again."
"Today's ceremony… has very special meaning," he began. "Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another -- but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American people… A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions… It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator."
People across America watched with differing emotions the image of President Obama's helicopter soaring out of sight this afternoon -- and with him, a long and painful legacy. The day that so many of us prayed would come is here. The time for empty talk, President Trump said in his speech, is over. "Now arrives the moment of action." Not just for the new administration -- but for all of us who care about healing the heart and soul of America.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.