As I read this morning’s Washington Post predicting a turnout of four million at the Mall for Barack Obama’s inauguaration, the thought of Woodstock popped into my head.
That gathering of roughly one half million people in 1969 on Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York defined a generation—my generation. Even those of us who were not there laid claim to the four-day event. In spirit, the celebration of the youth counterculture was larger than life. The gathering forged an identity and a bond for a generation of young people who would soon be labeled the Baby Boomers--and other, less flattering names by many older folks. All the same, Woodstock was a milestone that marked the start of a new era.
Barack Obama’s presidency already promises a similar transformation.
As yet, no one can know the cultural identity this presidency will create. But one thing is certain. The world will not be the same, ever again.
Raul Ramos y Sanchez