The inaugural ceremony officially swearing in Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States was both a movingly elegant event and an opportunity for the country to express its immense gratitude.
The ceremony will be remembered for many great moments: Vice President Joe Biden kissing his two sons after proudly reciting the oath of office, Aretha Franklin's soulful rendition of "My Country 'Tis of Thee", the remaining Tuskegee Airman present in the audience, the incredible sight of tens of thousands of people crowded on the National Mall to share in the historic occasion.
There was likely not a dry eye in that crowd as Pastor Rick Warren noted in his stirring
invocation that a "great cloud of witnesses", including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, must certainly have been present somewhere watching.
Then, of course, there was President Obama's strong acceptance speech to the country, alternating between tough, yet optimistic realism and moments of patriotic bravado in one brilliantly reassuring motion.
But perhaps one of the most moving moments of the inaugural ceremony involved no words at all.
Just before President Obama rose to take his oath, prestigious musicians Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, and Gabriela Montero honored him with an original classical composition by John Williams entitled "Air and Simple Gifts".
In perfect harmony the four artists managed to somehow translate into music that which seemed beyond words.
From its softly joyous intro to the proud crescendo in its center and then back down to its piercingly beautiful, quietly poignant ending, the melody traced Obama's magnificent journey to the presidency and, in doing so, transcended the moment. It became more than music.
It became the voices of the American people and all those supporters of democracy around the world expressing their gratitude for the multitude of sacrifices President Obama and his family have made and will continue to make in the coming years of his administration.
Thank you, President Obama.