With the second inauguration of the United States of America's first black President Barack Obama to a second term of office taking place on MLK Day 2013, Democrats from Fairfield County and beyond took the time to weigh in on the historic moment.
The day of the nation's 57th inauguration carried a different meaning for everyone, though there were underlying themes that moved individuals watching the ceremony on a universal level.
"It's a very historic moment," said state Sen. Carlo Leone. "I liked the focus of Obama's speech, that everything we have to do, we have to do together. That's what I was focusing on while listening to the president speak, the sense of cooperation and the spirit of working together."
State Sen. Bob Duff to watch a President takes office and takes the oath to protect and serve his nation is always an inspiring scene. He also touched on another historic first during Obama's speech.
"Generally, when watching the presidential inauguration, as an American, it sends a chill up your spine," Duff said. "It was the first time sexual orientation was made a part of the inaugural address. It's funny how long it can sometimes take policy to catch up with the thoughts and opinions of the rest of the public."
U.S. Congressman Jim Himes said the day served as a moment for all politicians, regardless of part affiliation, to put aside their difference and celebrate the American political system.
"I congratulate President Obama on his second term and feel particular pride in our country today as we set aside party and division to honor the rituals of the peaceful transfer of democratic power," Himes said. "As we contemplate the challenges of better educating our children, rebuilding our roads and bridges, and bringing our nation’s finances back onto solid ground, I hope this is also a moment to reflect on how we can work with the President to meet our commitment to our constituents and to the next generation."
State Rep. Gerald Fox III said the president was only continuing to support a position he's argued for many times throughout his tenure.
"I think it was, as all inaugurations are, an important day," Fox said. "[Same-sex marriage] is something the President certainly discussed during the election and he was just reiterating something that was important to him, that he's looking forward and I think he just wanted to make it clear to the country where he stands."
Fox added that many young children now only live in a world where Barack Obama has been President, and, on MLK Day 2013, it was an inspiring to know any child can believe now they can grow up to stand in that very spot themselves.
"For them, this progress is normal and I think it's great that's all they now," he said. "I think for young people going forward, they see possibilities for everybody. Any child can be president."
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy also mentioned the day's energy and said it was an energy that would help keep the nation moving in a positive direction.
"What an amazing day. I had chills down my spine as I walked onto the stage to take part in this historic day, and I thought President Obama’s speech hit the mark. The President’s message today was clear: America cannot stand still," Murphy said. "In order to meet the challenges of today’s world, we need to move forward on clean energy policy, immigration reform, and civil rights. The President gave a spirited address, and it will challenge the Congress to get beyond partisan divides and pass legislation that will make our nation more competitive in today’s global economy.
Duff agreed, though he said there's far more work to be done.
"I think we've come a long way as a nation," said Duff. "There are still a lot of things to accomplish, especially regarding immigration or sexual orientation. The arc of historic typically bends toward justice. That's the kind of progress [the inauguration] shows. He was our first African American President and he was reelected. And he was elected not because of or in spite of his color, but on the content of his character. However, we still have many steps to go. "