The R&B Shalamar may be right when they sang the lyrics “Second time around is better than the first time”. This is the hope of President Obama’s supporters as they witnessed the inauguration held on Monday, January 21st. This time it has to get better from the last years. Besides the more recent shootings in Colorado, and Connecticut in 2012 and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy to New Jersey, these are some of the major events that occurred over the past 4 years
In 2009, troops were sent to Afghanistan to seek out the Taliban leader responsible for the terrorist attacks. Over President Obama’s first term, the concern is when were the troops going to be able to return home, after fighting a war that lasted well over 8 years or more. They soon returned after Osama Bin Laden, responsible for terrorist attacks was located and killed in the line of fire. That same year, Bernie Madoff was indicted and convicted of investment fraud and theft.
In 2010, the unemployment rate started to rise and major companies were laying off employees. The unemployment rate averaged 9% across the country. In 2011, Joplin, a town of less than 200,000 was hit by a tornado killing 191 people and injuring 900. Washington, DC, parts of Maryland and Virginia experience the first earthquake in several decades. Two schools were demolished and several homes affected in Louisa County, just north of Richmond. A second shooting in 4 years occurred at Virginia Tech, killing a beloved police officer and resulting in a suicide of a student who was soon to graduate from another college, Radford University.. Virginia Tech was also awaiting a trial about the untimely notification of students of the threat of danger. The families who sued won their case. Also in 2011 and less than 2 weeks after the earthquake, Hurricane Irene hit Central Virginia, causing days and weeks of down power lines, and trees.
During his inauguration speech before the public, he reminded us about equal rights as citizens, how laws needed to be made to keep skilled students here, and the hope of keeping political communication lines open. However, President Obama will still need to address the concerns of the past term, namely gun control, unemployment, and how to better deal with natural disasters.
Here’s a toast for the hope that this time “will be better than the first”.