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My Turn 1-22
Inauguration reflections
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Donald J. Trump was sworn in as our 45th President on Friday. His Inaugural Speech lasted some 16 minutes. After saying, “We are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition,” President Trump launched into a pluperfect populist speech to motivate ordinary Americans, and castigate the “Washington Establishment”past and present.
“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” said Trump. “Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.”
President Trump thanked the American people for their trust and confidence in him, from his controversial primary campaign, to his ultimate victory. He reiterated his oft-repeated campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again!” No surprise there, but I was struck by the way he reached out to Americans far beyond his political base, including minorities in inner cities, who are suffering from rampant crime, inadequate education, and intergenerational poverty. He promised to tackle these problems with determination and vigor.
President Trump also focused on the need to improve the economy, create better-paying jobs, and fix America’s decrepit infrastructure. He emphasized how rising to meet these three challenges would improve the lives of all Americans.
Trump was adamant about putting “America first.” He asserted, “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”
Near the end of his speech, Trump urged Americans to “remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.” 
President Trump concluded his speech with these rousing words: "Together, we will make America strong again, we will make America wealthy again, we will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God Bless you. And God bless America.”
I think Trump’s inaugural address was the best speech he’s given so far. But, don’t take my word for that. Read or view it yourself.
President Trump’s challenge now will be to translate his ringing rhetoric into working reality for all Americans. For his sake, and ours, I hope he succeeds.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at