For a day, Democrats and Republicans and special interests from across the spectrum put aside their political differences Monday to celebrate what it means to be an American.
President Barack Obama began his second term in office Tuesday amid the celebration in Washington, D.C.
President Obama stood at the podium outside the Capitol building Tuesday as the 44th man to hold the nation’s top office.
Americans too often take this ceremony of leadership, this significant symbol of power for granted. But for more than 200 years, Americans have welcomed their new leaders — or renewed their welcome for returning ones — without fear.
Few other countries can say the same. Changes in leadership often can be marked by military coups or violence.
Americans celebrate the changes, embrace them.
President Obama struck a tone of cooperation and progress in his speech Monday, hitting exactly the theme the nation needs to hear. And we hope that message of moving forward echoes through the halls of the Capitol and through every state capital — especially in Springfield — county courthouse and city hall in the country.
Too many times our leaders have allowed their partisan objectives or special interests to stand in the way of serving the people. The result yields little in the way of progress for anyone.
We add our good wishes to those of most Americans who hope President Obama’s second term sees changes made so that all of us can live better, healthier and safer lives. Together, we can make that happen.