Twenty-One Howitzer Salute

As usual, the first official recognition of our new president was a twenty-one gun salute. By field artillery.

Now, I have heard howitzer fire in Washington before. I heard a military band perform the "1812 Overture" -- properly, as it was originally written -- with cannons used as percussion. [Incidentally, this is something I highly recommend to any who have the chance to hear such a rare performance.]

In other words, I know what it sounds like. But the amazing thing to me is that the crowd was cheering so loudly after our 44th president was sworn in that it was all but impossible to hear the cannon fire. I do not exaggerate -- even though they ran it through the monstrously-loud sound system.

The crowd was so ecstatic in making a joyful noise that it almost completely drowned out electrically-amplified artillery fire.

That summed up the day, for me, more poignantly than anything else.

May Barack Obama continue to overwhelm America in just such a fashion, for years to come.


[Program Note: I have plenty to say about today's events. I have plenty to say, but I do not have plenty of energy to say it tonight. I got up at 1:30 A.M. and nearly froze solid waiting, from 4:30 A.M. onwards on the National Mall, so I would have a good seat for history in the making. But it will all have to wait for tomorrow for me to truly do it justice. I apologize for the delay.]


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