That yesterday was a momentous and historic day goes almost without saying. Yet world leaders have marked the inauguration of America's first African-American president with eloquence, expectation and exhilaration.
Here's what some have said:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy: "With [Barak Obama's] election, the American people have vigorously expressed their confidence in progress and in the future, as well as their resolve to have an open, new, strong and caring America that you embody."
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: "The greatest democracy in the world has again proven that it is a beacon and example for many countries. The entire State of Israel rejoices with the United States and welcomes President Obama, who took the oath of office this evening. Barack Obama's journey to the White House has impressed and inspired the entire world. "
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called President Obama "a man of great vision and moral purpose."
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd labeled him the "hope of our time."
Many millions have pinned their hopes and dreams to President Obama. The world over looks to him to solve problems that are clearly beyond the scope of one human being. And yet, the fact that Mr. Obama is, in his own words, a “man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant,” must give us pause. The distance we have travelled as a nation and the differences we have overcome stand as clear beacons of our values.
Our country's heart was on display yesterday. We are stronger than our differences. To move through strife and hardship, we must walk together. Our future is bigger than one man or administration. But our future also hinges on the opportunity and possibility of every single one of our children, regardless of creed, color, religion, political affiliation or other arbitrary difference.
Yesterday proves that this country remains one of hope and possibility for all who are eager to achieve.
God bless America.