Panolian Editorial

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historic event shows message of hope, opportunity

On the heels of yesterday’s holiday honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we celebrate today  the inauguration of the first African-American president of the United States.

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What a historical moment for everyone especially those who are old enough to remember and to have lived through the Jim Crow era or the Civil Rights movement that defined our region in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Barack Obama had to have a lot more votes than those delivered by African-Americans. There is a country-wide euphoria as many may have cast their ballots for an African-American for the very first time.

Following Obama’s November 4, 2008 election, this newspaper received criticism for not putting the president-elect’s picture on the front page.

It wasn’t intended to be a slight.

We just don’t consider national events that have been covered non-stop by every electronic media outlet on earth three days prior to our twice-weekly publication date, timely news. Where we try to focus and what we do differently is report about local people and local events. That is the news that is  overlooked by other media.

We re-think our perspective on this momentous event.

We do believe that when local citizens attend national events, it becomes “local” by our standards.

Today’s edition coincides with an inauguration that few of us are likely to forget. It culminates a chapter of a journey that defines so much in our local culture. Today renews dreams and affirms that anyone in America can achieve anything.

While expectations for our new president may be astronomical and odds are against him reaching all his goals, we embrace his mindset of hope and wish for all Americans to embrace needed changes and opportunities.