What a remarkable day! The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and with a moving speech President Obama closed a dark chapter in our nation's history.

He has a dignity and thoughtful intelligence that have been sorely lacking in the White House, inspiring confidence that we can and will meet the daunting challenges ahead without further human rights abuses or violation of our Constitution. — Michael Steely, Medford

What impressed me most Tuesday was knowing that President Obama wrote what he spoke, that we have a president who can articulate thoughts of depth, meaning and perception and who understands the implications of who he is and what he says. I think this augurs well.

And I did enjoy the Rev. Dr. Lowery schooling Pastor Warren. — Harry Freiberg, Brookings

God bless America. Three powerful words that Americans love to invoke.

Rest assured, God listens. And at last he has heeded the call. In short time he has given us Barack Hussein Obama. A wise choice indeed.

This blessing must not go unnoticed. Ironic as it is, consider this: Africans were forced into slavery in America shortly after America's inception. Today, a direct African descendent, the son of an African man who never called America home, is called upon to lead this nation out of its funk. God is both brilliant and just.

We as a nation praise America's forefathers and their institutions, although they were not always fair. We stroke ourselves today over our changeability. But know this — it was God who blessed America with Barack Hussein Obama. He smiled on America for sure. — James Kelvin Marshall, Medford

I've been trying to draw a mental picture in my mind of the terrible financial mess our nation is in and what caused it. Here is what I came up with.

I saw this huge cruise ship more beautiful and larger than the ones we have ever seen. After walking through every portion of it from the bow to the stern, I was truly overcome with awe. As I was standing there in wonder, the damage control officer mentioned to me, "There's one more thing you need to see."

He took me down to the bilge level and showed me more than 20 holes scattered all over the ship that were leaking water. Each hole had a name by it, such as greed, theft, drugs, pornography, abortion, murder, morality, prostitution, etc.

But the largest hole was at the bow; it was called godlessness. He mention to me that this is the one that causes all the rest and the one that will eventually sink the ship. — Gordon DeVos, Medford

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