"Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like."

Monday, November 10, 2008

A piece of history

At one point or another, I'm sure we have all thought of a historic event, and thought to ourselves "what did it feel like to have been there?" Most of you who know me, know my obsession about history. Often, when I'm exceptionally touched by the retelling of an event in history, I put the book down, and think about what it would have been like to be around when such a historical moment struck.

Well, I'm sure that we now all know what it feels like to live a significant moment in history. Good history that is. As I am sure, we all consider September 11, 2001 a significant event in history. In fact, I still remember specifically when and where I was when I found out, and how I stood these watching the television when the cameras captured the second plane hit the second tower, and when the the towers collapsed, and New York City's skyline was forever altered. But like many other Americans, and others all over the world, I not so much got over that, but I have moved on and accepted that this is the way the world is, it's full of hate and bigotry. While I try very hard to not let those two be part of my life, at least not from my side, I have accepted that the good in people is not always enough.

Then, there was November 4, 2008. I was at a friend's house watching the results of the election. I had planned on going down to Grant Park where the rally was taking place. I wanted to be there with the rest of the Obama supporters when he made what was going to be surely his acceptance speech. But alas, I was sick, and couldn't make, so instead I went to my friend's "election night party." I was worried that like last time, there would be too many close races and we would go to sleep not knowing who our president will be, only to wake up to disappointing news (for 50% of us anyway). But this time, around 10 pm or so, it was pretty clear that Obama was going to be our next president. I thought at the time, "how anti-climactic. Now what?" So I left my friend's house, and I was driving back home when the official announcement was made that Barack Hussein Obama II is going to be our president. Suddenly, when it became official, it hit me: I am living history. I got choked up, and I nearly cried. I don't know why, but it really touched me that the majority of the voters in our country, not only were sick enough of Bush and refused to have someone who will carry on his regimes, but that they were capable of accepting, wanting, and embracing an African-American as their president. This is a new level of good that I didn't think our nation was capable of achieving.

I truly think Obama is very capable of being everything we want him to be, and that those of us who went out there and helped in his quest believe him to be. At the same time, I realize that there will be many things that he does that I will oppose and greatly disagree with. Mr. Obama has a long tough road ahead of him, as the Bush administration is leaving him a great mess to clean up. Even tougher, he will have those who opposed him who will be waiting for him to make any mistake so they can say "we told you so!" To that I say "it's OUR time! You took away from us 8 years, not it's our turn."

When it comes down to it, a lot of policies won't drastically change, but there will be change. There will be proof that decency and acceptance have prevailed. All you have to do is look at the speeches of the two candidates after the results came out. While I greatly respect Senator McCain, and I thought his speech was extraordinarily well-delivered and well-mannered, I saw that most of the faces that looked up at him while he was speaking were white faces, that showed no signs of hardship. A couple of thousand miles away, Mr. Obama delivered his speech to a rather diverse group of supporters, all races and age groups we represented, people with all educational and economical backgrounds. No offense Mr. McCain, but THIS group represents the Real America.

In the end, I am just really happy to see that we can finally stand up with our heads high with the rest of the world and say: "look, we're Americans, and we're not all hateful!"

Now I know how it feels to witness history. Where were you when what we hope is going to be a bright part of our country's history took place?


kim said...

i am over the moon about your new president. this definitely makes a possible move to the US in the future a lot less scary for me.

PS: 32 days, baby!! :)

kim said...

oh and for me, the berlin wall coming down was probably the biggest piece of history i got to "visit" so far...

jcesarmo said...

Witnessing history is very comforting and uplifting.

Hmmm... I was following CNN all afternoon on that day...

I was little amazed that McCain started strong but around 8 P.M. things started to change...

When the victory was at hand and after looking at both "finishing" speeches, I was overwhelmed by Barack's.

When he made reference to the old lady living in Atlanta that is more than 100 years old, and the changes she experienced through the years, my jaw dropped by listening at the implicit implications of this election.

Now, it's time to see the change in motion.

My guess is that this is a thrilling time to be a USA citizen!


Tay said...

None of my friends close by had cable, so after I finished at the university late that night I got together with friends, poured drinks, and watched CNN and C-SPAN via internet feeds. When the official word came in, we did a toast, and I had a few tears during Obama's acceptance speech.

Sometimes I hate that what happens in Canada depends so much on what's going on in the states, but not so much any more.

mrtl said...

Thank you, love!

KULA said...

I really hope we're all correct and things get better. It's a lot of work for one person, but no matter what, it'll definitely be better than McCain and Palin, and for sure better than the crap we have now. Can't wait till January 20, and not see Bush and Cheney in the White House.