2008 – you started out destined to be extraordinary. You started out with the responsibilities of the most crucial U.S. presidential elections on your watch, with a historic and controversial Olympics in your wake, and you proved to be a monumental year. A year of tears and sorrow as natural disasters ravaged the lands of the Earth, a year of firsts as you captured our attention with record-breaking shows of athleticism and crumbling barriers, a year of inspiration and renewed hope as the world watched at what is only probable in the United States, a year of unprecedented change as we watched once-formidable institutions crumble, a year that is ending as controversially as the events that have contributed to its whole, a year that ends on a note of mixed optimism, fear, hope, and uncertainty.
2009 – I am even more hopeful for you. Despite all the challenges that lie ahead of us as a collective whole, I can’t wait to see what kind of solutions we come up with. I hope that you will usher in a new generation of enthusiastic collaborators and on the political and international relations front, the shaping of a new system that emphasizes both hard and soft powers. I look forward to you as a new year in continuing to build upon shared values and cultures. I pray that you will bring further understanding between the conflicting parties throughout the world.
On the technology front, I hope you will be a year of substantial innovations. In the weakening of an old system, I hope the next 365 days will bring about new technologies and breakthroughs that will help build a new one. Especially in the area of sustainable technologies, I look forward to the further advancements in green technology, in sustainable development, and a more environmentally-conscious public.
2009 – I’m sure that you will hold plenty of surprises for us — both good and bad. But here’s to another year, a start of more beginnings, a continuation of what’s begun, and the end to stories that give way to the new.