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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

44

There was a moment last night, after they called it for Obama, President-Elect Barack Obama, when the news anchors wisely realized it was time to shut up and let the moment speak for itself. As the camera panned over thousands of people gathered in that park in Chicago, flags waving and people crying and cheering, as the crowds outside Rock Center jumped and clapped, as people wept, there was this sense of amazement -- disbelief that it really happened. In that moment I felt such a sense of happiness, relief, and pride. As a symbolic gesture, Obama's election, forged by a new coalition and encompassing an entirely new collection of states, is hard to top. He has entered the pantheon -- the Kennedys, the Kings, the modern American figures who transcend the ordinary to become heroes. That's big talk, I know, but last night it was hard to fight those sentiments.

His speech was characteristically beautiful. There was one part that I found especially compelling, that poignantly recalled Martin Luther King and reminded me of the long and exciting road ahead:
We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there.
He promised, and last night we believed him. Today is a great day to be an American; a great day to remember what America is and what it can be. Like the man said: we will get there.

1 comment:

Kim said...

amen.