U.S. inauguration celebrates democracy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Article 20 of the Constitution proscribes the simple reason for today’s pomp and pageantry in Washington: &uot;The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January …&uot;

And so, every four years, we hold an inaugural celebration to usher in a new presidential term.

This year, with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the economy still in recovery, some are questioning the need for such an expensive celebration.

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But every inauguration is uniquely American &045; extravagant and historic, yet populist and familiar.

Anyone able to brave the cold weather and get through security can watch in person this year, although most of us will watch on CNN in more comfortable surroundings.

Our own Alcorn State University choir was invited to sing this year, a great honor for the students, their school and all of Southwest Mississippi.

In fact, performers from around the country &045; such as high school bands from Alabama to Wyoming and a mezzo-soprano from President Bush’s hometown of Midland, Texas &045; will, barring driving snow, perform for the president and the nation today.

The inauguration is a celebration of diversity and democracy, of our peaceful transfer of power.

No matter our political colors, this is a time to put aside the divisions of the election and look to the future.