Today, millions of people across the country are making a date with history. To the millions of Americans looking for change, the inauguration of President Barack Obama marks a new beginning, bringing forth a universal feeling of patriotism, hope, and excitement. On this day, students are wearing T-shirts with Obama pictures to school, vendors are flooding the city streets, selling everything from flags to buttons, and millions of people are glued to their television sets, the Internet and radio stations - all to be a part of this monumental event in our nation's history.
This morning, here at Hackensack University Medical Center, I met a couple who I think will remember this day for the rest of their lives - not only because of its distinguished place in American history - but because of its place in their hearts, as the birthday of their new baby girl. After the delivery, I asked the proud parents why they scheduled the birth (a C-section) for this day and they told me that - as African Americans - they wanted to give their child a gift she would remember for the rest of her life - a gift that would honor and empower her as a symbol of the hope and change that became reality when the first African American man became the new leader of the free world.
I am sure that of all the things that President Obama has received congratulating him on his well-deserved victory, nothing will match the gift of a life that represents a generational change and a belief that hope will continue to keep America strong and prosperous.