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‘Welcome to the American renewal’

world Updated: Jan 20, 2009 01:22 IST
V. Krishna
V. Krishna
Hindustan Times
‘Welcome to the American renewal’

A day before his inauguration as the first African-American president of the United States, Barack Obama paid tribute to the man who dreamed so he could live the dream.

On Monday, a holiday commemorating assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, Americans answered the president-elect’s call to “Renew America Together” by volunteering for community services. Obama himself took part in a community renovation project in the Washington area.

On Sunday, Obama had invoked the spirit of president Abraham Lincoln, who freed slaves and steered the country through the Civil War. Hundreds of thousands cheered as Obama kicked off the celebrations from the Lincoln Memorial.

“Welcome to Washington, welcome to this celebration of American renewal,” Obama told the crowd.

While the crowd was jubilant, Obama was sombre, calling for a new spirit of sacrifice to overcome war and economic crisis.