Just received via email from Conyers’ office:

Millions braved cold and crowds to gather on the National Mall this morning, facing the sun rising over the U.S. Capitol, to watch the inauguration of our 44th president.  They came from across the country and around the globe to share with one another their memories of a not-so-distant past when this day seemed unimaginable–their joy in the moment when, at 12:01 p.m., Barack Obama became President of the United States–and their hopes for a renewed American promise of peace, prosperity and justice.

Like many who watched the inaugural events today, I can not help but reflect on the crowds that gathered here over 45 years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King led the nation in a call for change.  The thousands who marched on Washington and through Selma for Civil Rights, and who demanded equal rights and equal pay for women, and an end to poverty and the war in Vietnam–they scratched out a new American story–one in which barriers and injustices as old as the country itself were torn down.

This afternoon, our nation turned the page to write a new chapter in its history.  Today, the eyes of the nation and the world are focused on President Obama as he takes the helm of a country facing a deep economic recession, fighting two wars overseas, and with a justice system that has been pushed to the breaking point.  But he does not face these challenges alone.  Throughout the campaign, President Obama asked us to believe in our own power to change the direction of this country.  We echoed his confidence with our creed, “Yes, we can.”  Now, we must not only believe that we can bring change, but that we will.  We will rebuild the world’s respect for our nation.  We will restore the principle that no one is above the law.  We will give to the next generation a country more peaceful, more prosperous and more just than we inherited.

Thank you, as always, for your commitment to building a better democracy and congratulations, President Obama.

Your Friend,

John Conyers, Jr.

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