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Today marked a new beginning for millions around the world, including the citizens of St Croix. His spirit and message will be felt here and as far away as Africa and Iceland. In his inauguration speech, he pledged that “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

People around the world relate to Obama’s themes. A world made weary by war, recession, joblessness, and fear celebrated with him. At the United Nations complex overlooking the Danube River in Vienna, Austria, someone wrote “YES, WE CAN!” in giant block letters in the snow.

An Irish village called Moneygall covered itself in red, white and blue bunting Tuesday in honor of Obama’s ancestry, a great-great-great grandfather named Fulmouth Kearney who emigrated to the United States in 1850.

In Kenya, birthplace of Pres. Obama’s father, feasts were prepared, beer with Obama’s name on it brewed, and movie screens erected so neighbors could join together for the moment.

“Obama fever is all over the whole world, ” said Cyndee Peters, an Afridan-American singer who grew up in North Carolina and New York, and now lives in Sweden. “I was congratulated by I don’t know how many Swedes after the election. I think what he stands for needs to be celebrated. “No one is doing their favorite songs or greatest hits. We’re doing songs about hope.”

He has been praised for a trait unusual in politicians – an unwavering message: a heartfelt call to service, to help each other. He said today, “At this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit (of service) that must inhabit us all.” So we wish him well, and hope the countries of the world will work together to realize his visions of honesty, tolerance, and the brotherhood of all peoples.