The parade was followed by a series of inaugural Balls at the Washington Convention Centre and other locations. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden, as per the custom, escorted former President George W Bush and his wife Laura Bush to a departure ceremony.
The inauguration celebration commenced on January 17 with a train ride beginning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Obama traced the train route Abraham Lincoln took to the final leg of his inaugural journey to Washington D.C.
Democrat Barack Obama captured the White House on November 4, 2008, after an extraordinary two-year campaign, defeating Republican John McCain to make history as the first black to be elected US President. With an emphatic six percentage point popular vote advantage, Mr. Obama sailed to victory with 364 to Republican McCain 174.
The win by Obama, son of a black father from Kenya and white mother from Kansas, marked a milestone in US history. It came 45 years after the height of the Civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King.
Obama’s victory marked the rise of a new generation of American leadership, after 16 years of Presidents who came of age during the Vietnam War era.
It was also the American’s final, symbolic rejection of George W. Bush’s legacy- marked by two disastrous wars and financial crisis-and an embrace of a positive message of change.
Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Hawaii. He did a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, specializing in International Relations, from Columbia University. Thereafter he joined Harvard Law School in 1988 and was elected as the first Black President of Harvard Law Review in 1990.
He married Ms Michelle Robinson in 1992, with which he has two daughters. As regards his political career, he was elected to Illinois Senate in 1996, 1998 and 2002. However, he lost the election in 2000.
The epoch making victory of Obama is remarkable in many ways. An African-American rising to the post of the President of the most powerful nation in the world is no mean achievement.
Obama’s victory has created a worldwide euphoria showing to the world that America is a truly liberated nation which has risen above the barriers of racism. The Americans have declared to the world that for them, it is the personal qualities of a leader that are more important than anything else.
Obama has a daunting task of presiding over a world plagued by economic recession, unemployment and military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The expectations and responsibilities that go with his victory are high.
The people of the world have also given their mandate letting Obama know that they are with him to help him realize his dreams.