Saturday, January 17, 2009

A fitting way to mark the Inauguration

I went to the bank yesterday to get a roll of quarters (love that laundry), and wouldn't you know it but they were all Hawai'i state quarters. Appropriate, no?

In transit to DC today to witness history myself and head back to New Hampshire on Wednesday. I'll try to blog regularly, but don't know how much time/Internet access I will have. Three posts is my realistic goal: one about the Sunday Lincoln Memorial concert, one about the Inauguration itself, and one about Rick Warren. Maybe some others about political ongoings, St. Paul's K Street (one of my favorite DC parishes), and general city craziness. I won't be attending any balls or formal parties - I thought about the official Youth Ball, the NH/SC-sponsored Grits and Granite ball, or Netroots Nation, but didn't want to shell out the cash.

9 comments:

James said...

Ah, my friend, but just to BE in DC for this third most historic day in American History! I am so jealous of your opportunity.

(Surrender at Yorktown; Emancipation Proclamation; Inauguration of Mr. Obama)

Nathan Empsall said...

Yes, even with the crowds, it will be quite the ocassion. I'm waiting in the airport now...

I'd have to put the ratification of the Constitution, fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, V-J Day, and D-Day up there as well... this is historic, but I think each of those were either even more momentous (V-J Day) or had an even bigger impact on the future of America and the world (9/11). And since the Emancipation Proclamation was politically motivated and only aimed at states where it couldn't yet be enforced, letting the border states off for the time being, I might also have to drop it from the list and put in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg instead...

Happy, Jordan? ;)

Jordan said...

Yes, Nathan. But you also forgot the Moon landing, Berlin Wall falling, and Pearl Harbor (but you might lump that with V-J Day).

Nathan Empsall said...

I didn't forget the Berlin Wall - take a look, it's the second one I mentioned. Love me that Cold War history. I thought about Pearl Harbor, but you're right, I didn't want to go with three seperate WII events. As for the moon landing, as a previous commenter mentioned (was it Max B? who, by the way, I am sitting next to as we speak in Maryland), that was more symbolic of a long culmination of achievments than an actual moment in and of itself. Yes, I suppose it is just as if not more historic, but I was using change-moments as my criterion. Maybe that was a little too restrictive. Remember also, though, that I'm not as scientifically inclined as you but am even more politically inclined. So, that'll skew our respective lists.

Jordan said...

The moon landing was more about politics than science.

doctorj2u said...

Two more days!!! I can't wait! It will be a new beginning for all of us. Nathan, I came by to send you this article. Did you meet Bishop Jenkins in New Orleans? I seem to remember you did. Anyway it is a great article on awakening and the price of trauma. Enjoy the inauguration. I know I will.

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/01/episc
opal_bishop_charles_jenki.html

Nathan Empsall said...

Doctorj2u, what a great article! Yes, I met the bishop a couple of times, and never quite knew what to make of him. It's probably best he steps aside for someone else, but at the same time, I'm not sure if the diocese is in a place yet where it can go through the rigors of a bishop election. I am, however, particularly heartened by this passage from the article: "'I don't know if I'm on the right road, but I think I am,' he said recently. 'I know that God is with me on that road. And I hope than in trying to please him, I do. I'm searching for God. And also searching for myself.'" Right after the storm, Jenkins ran for Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and lost. He was devestated; he had been absolutely certain that he was called to be the national leader. After a certainty and devestation like that, this kind of reaction indicates growth.

I've thought of you and some of the other NOLA-Kossacks from time to time. I'd say I've meant to send you an email, and I have, but what good is it since I never actually did. How are you, how have you been?

doctorj2u said...

Nathan,
I am fine. I have felt since April 2008 that the city would be OK. The sense of trauma had left the air. I have still been fighting the "dark forces" of the right that blame the suffering of the Gulf South on its people, but I will give that up when Obama is sworn in. It is time. I asked my mom for news from Pass Christian tonight. She said that the flock of Trinity Church is still meeting at a Methodist Church further inland. Their plans to build a bigger church are stalled. There are much fewer people in Pass Christian now so the plans don't make sense. Now they are talking about restoring the church you worked on. (It looks the same as the last picture I sent you.) They held services there last Christmas. The town itself is still slabs and trailers. The tents are gone. They hope to get the library and police station out of the trailers by next year. Homes are a hogepoge. One southern, one modern, one a modular, one a mansion. It breaks my heart thinking of what the town use to be with its lovely Victorian mansions. There are a few left but it will never be the same. The big news is that the Walmart has finally broken ground. It was the biggest source of taxes before the storm, so the town is excited about that. They will soon be able to buy locally again. Thank you SO MUCH for all of your help. You are a wonderful young man! I will be thinking of you Tuesday as our new world begins. We have both worked very hard to make it happen.

Nathan Empsall said...

What a thorough update. Thank you, I'll pass it along to those in my congregation. Glad you and your mother are well, and thank you for the kind words! :) It is so exciting to be in DC right now, Metro insanity notwithstanding.