Gigapan.org is worth a few minutes of your time. Especially for the purposes of this column, being a reflection on leadership, it inspires the imagination.
When you open it, you will see an enormous long-shot panorama of the inauguration. Impressive, but it is when you zoom in, with exceptional clarity, to any detail, that you feel as though you are stepping into history.
You see Aretha Franklin’s hat, Mrs. Bush’s lap blanket, President Clinton’s intense gaze, President Bush No. 1’s fur hat, and President Carter shivering among thousands of other details. Besides the coldness-and I’m not referring to the frosty look on Mrs. Cheney’s face, studying this group of former presidents and leaders of our country as they watch a new president take office is an extraordinary snapshot into history. Can you begin to imagine what the different players are thinking during this historic 2009 inauguration? You genuinely feel as though you are there. Unlike most edited photos that we see in the news, this one gives an entirely different perspective. Go look. It is worth it.