Inaugural day focuses on change

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) talks to reporters before the start of the inaugural parade. Bond served as the parade´s grand marshal.

Greg Salzer

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) talks to reporters before the start of the inaugural parade. Bond served as the parade´s grand marshal.

JEFFERSON CITY — Matt Blunt, the second-youngest person elected governor in state history, took his oath of office Jan. 10.

In his inaugural address Blunt said “it will my great purpose to lead Missouri in a new direction. Change begins today, at this hour, in this place.”

Blunt said Missouri must break political divisions.

“I encourage all to remember Jefferson’s admonition that every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle,” he said.

Blunt said the next four years will be “bold.”

“We will be willing to experiment,” he said. “We will not fear failure.”

Blunt called upon God to “fill our hearts with praise.”

“In moments of trial, we will remember to seek his aid,” he said.

Before the inauguration, Blunt received prayers of support at a morning prayer service at Jefferson City’s First Baptist Church.

John Marshall, senior pastor of Second Baptist Church in Springfield, was invited to give the message at the church service.

Marshall spoke of four points Blunt must remember as governor.

“Be honest,” Marshall said. “Don’t become complicit. Don’t become plastic and unreal.”

He said Missourians like Blunt because he is “genuinely simple.”

Marshall then cautioned Blunt to be humble.

“Don’t start believing your own press releases,” Marshall said.

As the church erupted in laughter, Marshall said, “You asked me to come.”

The third point was to be a husband. He said Missouri needs a good marriage role model.

The last point Marshall spoke of was to be holy.

“We Christians believe God determines who will or will not govern,” he said. “The main reason you will be inaugurated today is God ordained you … You owe him.”

Marshall described Blunt as the most relaxed looking person in the

church by the church minister.

After the prayer service, Blunt and other newly elected state office holders took their places in convertibles for the inaugural parade.

Temperatures hovered just above freezing.

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), the youngest person to ever serve as governor of Missouri, was the parade’s grand marshal.

With a band playing Anchors Away, the parade proceeded to the capital.

Blunt, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, served six months in Operation Enduring Freedom.

He currently serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve.

Blunt met Melanie while he was serving in the United States Navy.

He spent six months at sea during their first year of marriage.

The Blunt family will soon grow by one.

Blunt and his wife, Melanie, are expecting their first child, a son, in March.