Spent the better part of this morning standing bundled and freezing along a railroad platform in southeastern Pennsylvania in hopes of glimpsing President-Elect Barack Obama's inaugural train. I was not disappointed (check my Flickr page for the full set). As the crowd gathered, I watched the people. Some brought their kids and their dogs. Some brought flags or Obama posters. Some brought stories about Jack and Bobby Kennedy.
But what struck me, as I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow well-wishers, was that I was, at last, part of something not only larger than myself, but something in which I believed wholeheartedly: the recovery of America. And I don't just mean from the current economic hard times. But from our loss of conscience. Our loss of purpose. From secrecy and suspicion. From bickering and self-centered policy-making.
Corny as it may sound, standing along that platform, I found in myself a spark of (dare I say it) patriotism. I wish I could shake Mr. Obama's hand and thank him for that.