The presidential inauguration is always a significant event in American history. Regardless of political leanings, it's a tribute to our democracy.
The 2012 campaign, like others before it, was fiercely contested. There were speeches, campaign rallies and debates. The candidates crisscrossed the country asking for votes. President Obama ultimately won the election and on Monday will be sworn in for a second term as President of the United States.
The two major candidates for commander in chief had significantly different visions. But the fact that our country offers its citizens the opportunity to vote in free and fair elections is not to be overlooked. America's 57th inauguration does more than celebrate an individual or political party. It's a time to celebrate our political process of voting and peaceful transfer or continuation of administration.
The country faces many big issues, with the economy a major concern for most Americans. There are too many people out of work. Economic growth has been dismal. And many families have serious concerns about spending, entitlements and a number of other financial issues.
The recent fiscal cliff negotiations demonstrated the philosophical gap between Republicans and Democrats. With a divided government going forward, it's likely many of these issues will be vigorously debated. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Our founders initiated these checks and balances, which force leaders to consider what compromises can be made for the benefit of the country.
We offer good wishes to the president, Republicans and Democrats in coming to agreeable compromises on the key issues ahead. We pray for our leaders, that each would consider the country's well-being with each decision to be made.