Mi abuelo

Mi abuelo, Pedro Martínez. Nació un 13 de agosto de 1913 en la Habana, Cuba. Nació en tierra Cubana por accidente. Su padre y su madre embarazada salieron de Cadiz, España rumbo a Argentina pero el barco tuvo problemas y pararon en el puerto de Cuba. Ahí nació, se crió, vivió los años de la dictadura de Batista y conoció a mi abuela Norma en el Sanatorio la Esperanza (una historia para otra día). Un par de años antes de la revolución (1956) se mudaron a Puerto Rico con mi mamá Mercedes y el cuñado de su primer matrimonio, Rolando. Se ubicaron en San Juan y abrieron Habana Artistic Studio en la Ave. Ponce de León en Santurce. Mi abuela Tata añoraba su tierra y soñaba con volver y ver a su familia. Quiso regresar a Cuba después de que Fidel bajó de la Sierra Maestra pero mi abuelo le dijo: “Calma, los gobiernos de revolución traen grandes cambios, esperemos un poco a ver como van las cosas.” A cabo de unos meses, decidieron no regresar. PR se convirtió en su nuevo hogar como el de muchos Cubanos. Después de la revolución los cubanos llegaban a Puerto Rico y buscaban a mi abuelo en “la embajada” como solían llamarle a la Habana Artistic Studio. Me cuentan que ayudó a mucha gente y era muy querido. Lamentablemente, murió un 26 de febrero de 1968 en un trágico accidente de avión regresando de unas gestiones en Santa Cruz. Mami tenía doce años.

Mi abuela me contaba hoy lo mucho que Pedro hubiese querido ver a Cuba libre. Hoy es un buen día para compartir esta historia y la foto de mi abuelo.

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Making space for poetry

As most things in life, making choices determines who we are, what we do and how we interact with the world and others. I have been writing poetry for quite sometime, but I consider it not to be very good. Anyway, I have to make space for: reading other poets, writing more, and sharing my work regardless of what I think of it. The process is the destination and sharing is the space to improve the process.

I leave you with this short quote by Viola De Lesseps, a character created by Shakespeare in Love screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, and is not based on an actual person.

“I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable—like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love—like there has never been in a play.”

—Viola De Lesseps

The Soul by Lal Ded

I like this poem by Lal Ded. I did not know who she was, in fact this was posted by Elle Luna’s in her own blog and I am borrowing it to put it here. It is said that Lal Ded was born in 1355 in Pandrethan to a Kashmiri Pandit family. Even as a child, Lalla was wise and religious-minded. She was married at the age of 12 into a family that was reported to have regularly mistreated her. As a mystic, she wandered naked, reciting her proverbs and quatrain-based poems as a means for peace.

-“The Soul”
by Lal Ded

The soul, like the moon,
Is new, and always new again.

And I have seen the ocean
continuously creating.

Since I scoured my mind
and my body, I too, Lalla,
am new, each moment new.

My teacher told me one thing,
Live in the soul.

When that was so, I began to go naked and dance.

Reducing annual consumption of plastic bags

Did You know…?

* The average American uses between 300 and 700 plastic bags per year. If everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain, the chain would reach around the Earth 760 times!

* The world’s largest landfill can be found floating between Hawaii and San Francisco. Wind and sea currents carry marine debris from all over the world to what is now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This “landfill” is estimated to be twice the size of Texas and thousands of pounds of our discarded trash, mostly plastics. Each year hundreds of thousands of sea birds and marine life die from digested plastics mistaken for food. –LA Times

* Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in South Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting up to 30,000 plastic bags a month to weave into hats and handbags. – BBC

via Take Action to Stop the Single-Use Bag Habit.

Bruce Lee, the Philosopher?

bruce_lee2I have always been an admirer of martial arts. As a kid, I wanted to grow up and become a ninja.  I am thrilled by the techniques, syncopated movements, quick reflexes, and unreal forms and combinations found in the martial arts.

Surfing the web, I found an interesting video from Bruce Lee.  But this time, Lee is not fighting or making his trademark face, he is speaking and sounding more like a philosopher. I found it amusing, interesting and a bit outthere. Yet, it did spark a curiosity to learn more about this cultural icon. If you want to read more about Bruce Lee, check out his page on Wikipedia.

This is the video:

Truth is that water must flow in order to be clean. This concept of “flow” makes the metaphor work for me. Water that does not flow becomes stale and contaminated. Flow is critical for the purity of water.  I wonder how much of our sicknesses, depressions, anxieties, etc., may result from lack of flow.

A significant fraction of the human body is water.

Water has hundreds of uses for the sustainability of life and humanity.
Water contains oxygen, etc.

MLK on Peace and Justice

mlk

I am a big fan of Martin Luther and recently found some fave quotes in my notes:

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
-Martin Luther King Jr.


“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
Martin Luther King Jr., “Strength to Love”

Forty-five years ago, MLK entered the public scene and transformed history. He was born in a poor home in Atlanta, Georgia. Grew up to become a preacher like his father and worked at Montgomery Baptist Church. King’s legacy goes beyond historical facts. Martin initiated a change of perspective and racial relations in the USA. He addressed the racial issues of the day with bravery and tenacity.

Following the footsteps of his leadership America is better today. The future of this country is again filled with hope and promise.

Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that….

Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
-Martin Luther King Jr.,
“Where do we go from here?”, August 1967

Our Deepest Fear… (Lyrics and Video)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It is not just within some of us; it is in everyone.

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson, “A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles,” 1992

-Used by Nelson Mandela (wrongly accredited to him online) on his 1994 inaugural speech

-Used in the movie Coach Carter, 2004

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“Happiness Is…” (trailer online)

According to Webster’s dictionary, happiness is: “An agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or that state of being which is attended enjoyment; the state of being happy; contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.”

Did you know the US ranks way low in happiness studies worldwide?

Director Andrew Shapter, curious to learn more about happiness went on a road trip across America to find answers to one of the most profound and ecstatic states of self: happiness.

“Happiness is…”

Are happiness definitions as unique as finger prints? What can we learn about ourselves when we realize that the declaration of independence didn’t give us the right to happiness but rather the right to pursue it? So come along on our journey as we talk to a colorful cast of characters about what happiness means and explore whether we can increase happiness across America…the answers may surprise you!
-From: www.happinessisthemovie.com

National Prayer Breakfast

“This is my hope. This is my prayer.” -Obama

Did you get a chance to watch the National Prayer Breakfast this past Friday, February 5. Tony Blair delivered the keynote address and Casting Crowns, a Christian rock group.  The National Prayer Breakfast, currently co-chaired by Reps. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Heath Shuler (D-NC), is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year. The event has taken place since 1953 and every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the breakfast. Memorable words from this year’s speech:

“In this way, the particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us. Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times.”

“The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another – or even religious groups over secular groups. It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.”

“[Today] We come to break bread and give thanks and seek guidance, but also to rededicate ourselves to the mission of love and service that lies at the heart of all humanity. As St. Augustine once said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

Read the full transcript of Barack Obama’s speech here.

Daylighting

Some call it the side hustle, others call it the side project, but it’s been coined as “daylighting” – working jobs on the side while at another one. And for young creative professionals, it’s become a way of life. “The slash/slash generation are best described as do-it-all teens and twenty-somethings that undertake multiple careers – often creating brand names for themselves.” While the notion of employees doing their “own thing” at a business can be threatening, it may also be an opportunity for those who manage it responsibly.

How can companies free people in the slash/slash generation from the rigidity of corporate policy?

Can companies accommodate multiple interests and passions to further develop the potential of their employees?

What if they actually allow, or even encourage, “daylighting”?

via Encourage Daylighting from Behance Magazine.

Trends in Higher Education

Trends in Higher Education,” is published twice annually, last published in August 2008. The special issue (compiled by Phyllis T.H. Grummon, PhD., Director of Planning and Education SCUP) looks at the state of Higher Education and: Demographics, Economics, Environment, Global Education, Learning, Politics.

For more information visit the Society for College and University Planning at: www.scup.org

“I screwed up” -A leadership lesson with Barack Obama

Yesterday, we learned a lot about our new president. For starters,  he is human. He makes mistakes just as every ordinary person. What makes him different is the fact he is willing to admit his faults. Obama understands the importance of taking responsability of your actions. That is a significant leadership lesson.

So what’s the background story? In an interview with Brian Williams, Obama admitted he “screwed up ” in two cabinet nominations he had made. Who are these two people that voluntarily withdrew?

1) Former senator Tom Daschle pulled out as Mr Obama’s pick as Health and Human Services secretary. Why?  His failure to fully pay taxes from 2005 through 2007.

2) Nancy Killefer pulled out her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government. Why? She also failed to submit payroll taxes.

Obama recognized that he was “angry and disappointed” to lose Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer before he candidly admitted:  “I think I screwed up, and I take responsibility for it, and we’re going to make sure we fix it so it doesn’t happen again.”

The President said he wanted to assure the US that under his leadership there would not be “two sets of standards, one for powerful people, and one for ordinary folks who are working everyday and paying their tax.” Regarding Daschle and Killefer, Obama did make a point, “I appointed these folks. I think they are outstanding people.”

So, what are some leadership points we can take away from this?

  1. Leaders of any kind often face dilemmas and make mistakes.
  2. Admitting mistakes does not make a leader weak, but makes him real; also increasing his/her credibility.
  3. Followers respect and support leaders who are not afraid to recognize and learn from their mistakes.
  4. Only the leader that knows wrong can point himself and others in the right direction.
  5. People did not vote for a perfect president, but for one who is transparent, demonstrates humility and practices self-reflection.

Name Results for ‘Jorge Fusaro’

A friend send me a funny and interesting site where you insert your name and it gives you some interestingly random and fun facts about your name. Here are mine.

Top 5 Facts for this Name (Jorge Fusaro):

1. How well envoweled is Jorge Fusaro? 45% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 11.2% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are very well envoweled.

2. In ASCII binary it is… 01001010 01101111 01110010 01100111 01100101 00100000 01000110 01110101 01110011 01100001 01110010 01101111

3. Backwards, it is Egroj Orasuf… nice ring to it, huh?

4. In Pig Latin, it is Orgejay Usarofay.

5. People with this first name are probably: Male. So, there’s a 98% likelihood you sweat just thinking of the price of shaver blades.

Name Origin and Meaning:

Forename:

Origin: Spanish (Root: George)

Meaning: Farmer

3 Things You Didn’t Know:

1. Your personal power animal is the Vampire Squid

2. Your ‘Numerology’ number is 9. If it wasn’t bulls**t, it would mean that you are multi-talented, compassionate, and impartial. A humanitarian, you seek opportunities to help others.

3. According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.104% of US residents have the first name ‘Jorge’ and 0.0005% have the surname ‘Fusaro’. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 2 Americans who go by the name ‘Jorge Fusaro’.

Want to get yours? Go to: www.isthisyour.name

Superbowl 2009 – ADS

What was your favorite Superbowl commercial in 2009?  I think Bridgestone owned the advertising space! My top ads for 2009 are:

  1. Bridgestone – “Jump Around” and “Squirrel” and “Mr. Potato
  2. Cocacola – “Picnic
  3. Doritos – “Crystal ball” and “Power of the Crunch

I really liked Cars.com Ad:  “David Abernathy.”  The story didn’t particularly fit for a cars ad, but they made it work.

Something I noticed this year, as a common theme was violence. A little violence for the sake of laughter can work. It did for me, specially on the Doritos and Pedigree Ads. I wonder if market research departments around the nation discovered that violence and stupidity work. It works for TV show Jackass, America’s Funniest Videos, and hundreds of video games. There is a mysterious relationship between humanity and violence.

The E-trade babies and Career Builder ads continue to crack me up!

Godaddy wins the most crappy TV spot. I wonder how many people actually went online to “watch the rest…”  I would reevaluate strategy…urgently.

Needless to say it was a great game, packed with tons of energy and enthusiasm!

10 New Business Gurus You Should Know

Have you heard of Peter Drucker, Jim Collings, Patrick Lencioni, and C.K. Prahalad?  These are some of the leading thinkers and practitioners (professors, authors, CEO’s) who are impacting business management, both philosophy and practice.

This is a great article to check out. It was published late last year in Fortune Magazine.

10 New Gurus You Should Know – Fortune Magazine

I’m Watching You Dad

I stumbled upon this video today, I’m Watching You Dad.  I am not a parent, but it touched me deeply. It’s a great lesson on how our actions/behaviors are perceived and internalized by others. Whether we are parents, leaders, brothers, sisters, supervisors, husbands, etc., we all have a profound impact (positive and/or negative) in the lives of others. In this video, it’s on children.

If you are a parent, check it out!  This video reminds me that actions often speak louder than words and that my actions are a result of what/Who lives in my heart.  If my heart is filled with integrity, love, respect, honesty, and gentleness (and other important virtues as well), it is more probable, that my natural tendencies exemplify goodness.

“My Favorite Business Book” website

The folks at ChangeThis have release their latest project, the “My Favorite Business Book” website. ChangeThis is on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds. The purpose of their new project is to create a peer-generated  bibliography of the best and most useful business books.

Visit the website. You can read reviews or share a personal story of how the book helped you in business and/or life. It’s easy to get started and no sign-up info is required. It’s just as easy as posting a comment on a blog.

The best part is that you get to sign your name with a “live link” included, which links readers back to your blog or website.

Inaugural Address, President Obama – January 20, 2009 (full script)

A speech that will go down in history. My favorite parts are highlighted in red.

Enjoy and be inspired!
Jorge

———————–

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.