The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

January 30, 2013

From the Senate Side

Inaugural ceremony provides sense of purpose to legislators

By Sen. Ron Miller

— As I write this article, I have just returned from the Governor’s inauguration ceremonies. If I may, I want to share my personal thoughts about this week of ceremony. In today’s society we seem to place less importance on special events and ceremonial aspects of government. I tell you, though, it is very important for all of us.

As a lover of history and tradition, I looked forward to this inauguration. When I stepped onto the porch of the Capitol on the afternoon of the Jan. 14, and walked down the steps to the inaugural platform with the rest of the State Senate for the start of the ceremony, I looked down at the chilly crowd applauding before me, the Kanawha River powerfully flowing in the foreground and the statue of Lincoln Walks at Midnight dutifully guarding the Capitol grounds, I was hit with a whole slew of emotions. I felt the honor of representing the people of this 10th District; I felt the excitement of the legislative work ahead; I felt the humility of wondering if I was worthy of this special place of service; and I was fearful. I was fearful that I might miss a step and fall to the platform at the bottom of the steps (I do have a propensity to be a bit awkward sometimes, especially with bifocal glasses).

While I sat and absorbed the ceremony, my eyes gazed about at the winter on the mountain, the majestic trees of the Capitol campus and the stoic attentiveness of the military persons. My thoughts wandered to those people 150 years ago who worked to create this state; I thought of our historic struggles for freedom to assemble in this fashion; I thought of the folks who built the roads, who mined the coal, who taught in our schools, who farmed our fields, and who made it possible for us to be in this place.

I thought of my family and my community and how they have helped to mold me and shape me for these moments; I thought of the families who struggle each day, the workers worried about their jobs and the small shop owners who try to meet payrolls each week. I realized as I listened to the music and the oaths and speeches that many people in this state are counting on each of us sitting on this platform to do a job that helps our state move forward. What an afternoon! What an inspiration!

After adjourning the 80th Legislature in March of last spring, Sen. Laird and I have, through various committees, been working on a multitude of differing issues. You may go to the legislative web site to see the committees that we have either chaired or been a part of during this interim period.

Not only have we worked through the interim process, but we have had other legislative responsibilities which have called for us to spend time on special projects. Now, with a renewal of purpose and resolve provided by the inaugural ceremony, we are ready and excited for the 81st Legislative Session to begin.

In my next article I will share some thoughts about what to expect in the upcoming session to move our state forward. Thanks for letting me share my personal thoughts this week.

(Miller represents the 10th Senatorial District.)