Help name 2009 Top Values Stories: Was Obama’s inauguration No. 1?

President Elect Obama speaks at Lincoln Memorial My own list of 2009 Top Values Stories begins with … No. 1: Inauguration of Barack Obama.
But that’s my list. What’s on your list?
News media love “Top Story” lists this time of year. Some National Public Radio shows began ranking news events last week. Of course, it all depends on your perspective. One commentator on an NPR news show focusing on global issues ranked Afghanistan/Pakistan as No. 1 on his list.
Here at, we are an ongoing experiment in civil dialogue on tough issues involving ethics and values. From our perspective, I have to put the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as the nation’s 44th president at the very top of my list.
Why? (And I hope, as you share your nominations for Top Values Stories, you’ll explain a bit about what you’re lifting up.)
    I place the inauguration at No. 1 because Americans rose to their best selves, electing a president on the content of his character, not the color of his skin—or the sound of his name. America had reclaimed the moral high ground once again.

In his inauguration speech, the new president called on the old bedrock values of the nation:

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends—hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism—these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.

And who can forget the comedy of Chief Justice John Roberts flubbing the recitation of the oath of office? (Let’s hope he bones up next time.)

Do you agree? Would you give the No. 1 rank to the inauguration of Obama? Why or why not?

What’s on your list of the top values stories of 2009?

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