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For me, the inauguration means that there is still hope at a time of despair. I pray every day that my children will have a life filled with more happiness than sorrow, and although there are many things in life we cannot control, I feel that this election represents that we as a country are prepared to take control and work together to make things better. Although it would be easy to remain a pessimist given the gravity of the situation that our country and the world is in, the election of Barack Obama has allowed me to be an optimist and work hard to help things change.

My 12-year-old son has been so inspired by Mr. Obama, he has told me that [this] has made him realize that no matter who you are, you can succeed if you work hard enough. I truly believe that this will be one of those life-defining moments for many young individuals to push them to be more and do more with their lives. Seeing such inspiration in a child his age makes me less afraid of what the future may hold.

— Karen of Rockford, Michigan