01/18/2013 07:09 pm ET

Table Talk: President Obama's Second Inauguration

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

This Monday, Barack Obama will officially begin his second term as president of the United States, after his swearing-in outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The Inauguration is a chance for the American people to come together after the election and congratulate the new president. It’s also a celebration of democracy, representing the peaceful transfer of power from one group of leaders to the next (or in this case, the continuity of one presidency).

The president will take the oath of office, which is a promise to “preserve, protect and defend” the laws of the country and its people. This year for his oath, President Obama is using two bibles that were owned by Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

After the oath, President Obama will give a speech about what he hopes to accomplish over the next four years. In 2008, millions of people travelled to Washington, D.C. to be a part of the momentous 56th Presidential Inauguration. That ceremony was the most attended event in the city’s history.

Tonight, let's talk about the importance of political ceremonies, and on Monday, let’s watch this remarkable event together with our families.

Questions for discussion:
  • Will you be watching the Inauguration?
  • Why are rituals like the Inauguration important?
  • What do you think the president will talk about during his Inauguration address?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.



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