Skip to main content

I learned over the Thanksgiving Break, while 3 of my kids and their friends were home from college, that one of my son's friends would be marching in President Barack Hussein Obama's (I enjoy typing that!) Inauguration.

You might think that's quite an honor, good for him, and "I hope he gets lots of pictures," but it represents something far more significant, and should encourage us all as to just how much things have changed in the 146 years since the Emancipation Proclamation.


Because my son's friend goes to Virginia Military Institute, in Lexington, VA, and the entire corps of 1400 will be marching.

If you don't know about VMI, the following might help you understand the tradition and significance of this:

  1. VMI is the oldest state military college in the US (1839), and is known as the "West Point of the South."
  1. The entire Corps of VMI students fought at the Battle of New Market, for the Confederacy, and for this reason they are the only military school in the US permitted to fix bayonets in parade formation.
  1. VMI didn't admit African-Americans until 1968; and women weren't admitted until 1997.

This is amazing!

A school in the Commonwealth that hosted the capital of the Confederacy; that trained racist sons of the South for generations; whose students fought on the wrong side in a war to keep African-Americans enslaved; that refused to admit African-Americans long after the Federal Military Academies had done so; will be marching, en masse, in the Inaugural Parade of an African American President.

And the mood of the cadets? My son's friend says they are "thrilled, as a whole lot of us voted for President Obama."

Morning in America? A New Day? The end of racist America?


But a wonderful start, and a richly symbolic one at that.

In the words of The Staple Singers, "Take the sheet off your face, boy/it's a brand new day!"

Update: From my son's friend: "This article explains that this will be the 13th Inaugural, and 100th anniversary of this tradition, for the cadets of VMI, and we have been very busily preparing for the event since returning to barracks on the 10th January.
   All 1400 of us board 60+ buses @0400 on Tuesday to head for Washington, and I can't wait!"

Originally posted to skeezixwolfnagle on Wed Dec 03, 2008 at 10:07 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Deep Dark, Louise, mwjeepster, Doug in SF, ljb, tmo, PLS, Sean Robertson, Beth, Odysseus, deben, Trendar, gogol, whataboutbob, saraswati, kainah, Grand Moff Texan, Emerson, dengre, krwada, Shockwave, LynChi, Jay C, akeitz, eeff, object16, redtravelmaster, bigforkgirl, humbucker, bronte17, missLotus, wonkydonkey, whenwego, OCD, Loquatrix, teresahill, CoolOnion, gayntom, mkfarkus, buckhorn okie, roses, Frederick Clarkson, javelina, itsmitch, juslikagrzly, jbeach, exconservative, MazeDancer, oceanview, evansb2, DoctorScience, lirtydies, Alna Dem, CocoaLove, dksbook, jdmorg, Getreal1246, danthrax, sockpuppet, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, Chicago Lulu, exiledfromTN, bloomster, texasmom, snakelass, bwintx, randallt, tomjones, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, poemworld, Gowrie Gal, weelzup, Big Tex, bloomer 101, radarlady, freakofsociety, Captain Slack, OpherGopher, PBen, truong son traveler, ajsuited, DoGooderLawyer, Robin7459, Morrigan, TheSwampDweller, Pam from Calif, where4art, ladybug53, Overseas, lotlizard, Little Lulu, Yamara, Ozzie, Wandering Hoo, collapse, optimusprime, FindingMyVoice, coolbreeze, Rogneid, kathny, RainyDay, fhcec, begone, CCSDem, skywriter, SoulCatcher, trashablanca, BlueInARedState, Kimball Cross, Dvalkure, Samwoman, tecampbell, global citizen, StrayCat, Bob Sackamento, JVolvo, el cid, max stirner, soccergrandmom, Andy30tx, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, The Lighthouse Keeper, mmiddle, Jbeaudill, Statusquomustgo, FrankieB, Nulwee, GoldnI, ammasdarling, lams712, nathguy, Randall Sherman, ibonewits, dmh44, Deadicated Marxist, moodyinsavannah, godislove, Dartagnan, ColoTim, moosely2006, Stwriley, edsbrooklyn, la urracca, Nespolo, yowsta, kath25, Ticonderoga, Jimdotz, londubh, drchelo, mystic, Unbozo, newpioneer, vbdietz, cyncynical, DemMarineVet, millwood, JML9999, sable, gizmo59, Dem in the heart of Texas, rogerdaddy, revm3up, Hippokleides, Archangel, mikeconwell, tofumagoo, hwmnbn, rubine, noddem, DixieDishrag, dont think, Anr, magicsister, immigradvocate, Johnny Venom, Fiddlegirl, SciMathGuy, Pris from LA, Bule Betawi, multilee, litoralis, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, crazyshirley2100, Meng Bomin, Daily Activist, Robert Sandy, BDsTrinity, Framlingham, ZilV, MooseHB, sricki, kw7777777, rdxtion, kevinpdx, deutschluz, Dark UltraValia, Munchkn, IreGyre, Pandababy, PoliticalJunkessa, brushysage, Livvy5, catilinus, susan in sc, o possum, Colorado Billy, political junquie, commutergirl, mudmanor, Red Reign, pyegar, Bliss, sheridan, gramofsam1, Blue Blood, fidellio, CcVenussPromise, Big Danny, Taxmancometh, wvmom, msmo1918, lostmypassword, ribletsonthepan, m2violin, calichristi, creamer, FeDhu, aggie98, NYWheeler, nirbama, Floande, AMfromATL, HylasBrook, slice, Pakalolo, xeromachine, Relevant Rhino, Wisewood, Medina Mahmoud, Philly526, Mirage18, Laurdet, Chuck Cook, Coilette, Maribeth, teebob2000, free as a butterfly, grottoes, misteramiss, junipercussion, i always vote for larry joe

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site