Today, President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address. He'll talk about the past year and he'll lay out his vision for the year to come.
A few days ago we asked NPR listeners to show us the state of the union through their lens. We wanted to get a feel of where Americans feel their country stands.
As you might expect, the responses we received ranged from those who thought the country was in tatters, to those who were in a pretty good place in their life and gave the country's situation a rating of 8 out of 10.
Thirty-two-year-old Colin Hosten, of Connecticut, took a photograph of an American flag, still waving but tattered.
"I happened to look up and see it and the first thought in my mind was how symbolic it was about the state of American politics and in some ways of American society today," he told us. "It's kind of like this fabric that's been torn in two."
Thirty-year-old Anthony Rizzo, of New Jersey, told us he lost his job in 2008. Since then, he said, it's been a struggle.
He chose a historical photograph from the Great Depression of an advertising man desperately seeking employment. That's how Rizzo feels and he hopes that President Obama addresses that today.