Witnessing American History: Barack Obama is 44th U.S. President – Tuesday, November 4, 2008

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President Elect Barack Obama - 11-4-08

President Elect Barack Obama - 11-4-08


I traveled on Election Day so I early voted more than a week before the general election day. I had to be at the airport by 5am to travel to Boston, Massachusetts. I flew from New Orleans to Memphis, where I caught my connecting flight to Boston. In Memphis, I was able to catch some election coverage before my next flight, seeing how long some of lines at the polls were. It was a long travel day. I arrived in Boston around 1pm.

I am presenting a professional development workshop for librarians in the Southeastern Massachusetts Public Library System. My client, Vickie, picked me up from the airport. We then headed to the library’s administration building in Middleboro, Massachusetts. Vickie and I got along great, excited about the upcoming election results. She still had to vote so she whisked me to a pizza place where i ordered a monster calzone to bring to my hotel room.

Once at the room, I turned on the TV, watched for a bit, and then decided to take a little nap. I was exhausted – I had not slept the night before! When I woke up, I Skyped with my family. I watched election results on several networks but mostly CNN. It was looking good for Barack. Then, we all learned that he took Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida! Once the California polls closed, it was time…

Around 11pm, the news broke. Barack Hussein Obama became the President-Elect. He will be the 44th President of the United States. The news was moving. I truly relate to Barack. I am the daughter of an immigrant. My mother is from the Philippines. I lived abroad as a child. I also lived in Hawaii (at the same time as Barack too). I come from a middle class family. I am of mixed race.

I was moved to tears. I knew that I had witnessed a truly great piece of American history. Not only did America vote for change, but we saw the face of America change right before our eyes. We now have an African American man who will be the next great leader of the free world. Barack Obama united people of all races and creeds. He motivated a nation into action, a nation once lulled into political apathy.

Barack Obama’s speech was equally moving. He reiterated his “Yes we can!” message and reminded us that the victory was not his, but ours.

Here is a portion of his speech:

“This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”

I even received a thank you email from President-Elect Obama, a message he emailed and texted to all of his supporters.

I am proud to have been a part of this moment in American history. I don’t normally espouse my political views but I believe it’s time for all of the people of the United States of America to come together, united under one flag as one people. It’s time for change, a change that will ripple around the world. It’s time for change that will unite our country and change that reaches out to other countries. It’s time… I believe definitely that, “Yes we can.”

Until next time…

Warmly, Dianne