History.

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Senator Barack Obama of Illinois will be the 44th President of the United States of America, to be sworn in on January 20th, 2009. He is the first African-American to be voted in as President of the United States.

I’ll tell you all what was, up until now, a secret:

I never thought I’d write those words. I never thought I’d see this day. I believed a woman would become President before a black man. And I still believe I will live to see a woman president. I truly believed that the next generation might live to see a black man become president, but my generation would not.

For the first time since my wife accepted my proposal for marriage, I cried tears of joy.

More after the jump…

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The first time I saw that picture by Alex Ross, I laughed and thought, “Well, at least the brother is legit.” Still, while I rooted for him and believed his message, I had doubt coupled with fear.

They might try to kill him. We have some truly sick people in the world and they have access to guns. He could lose to Senator McCain, and while that I could somewhat accept, Govenor Palin as VP was just not acceptable. The more she spoke, the more she terrified me. I could not see her that close to the presidency. I prayed for the man. I actually stumped for the man. I haven’t stumped for a candidate since President Bill Clinton.

My wife and I went to vote at 5:30AM. And there was still a line. We got in and out relatively quickly and then I wouldn’t watch anything about the election until around 8PM. And I saw some of the numbers and got a little scared but I remembered four years ago and watched how fast it turned.

Then he won Ohio. Say what?

Then he won Pennsylvania.

And as fast as that, it was a wrap. Barack Obama had become the first African-American ever elected President.

And the tears came.

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I woke up my wife and we watched Senator McCain’s heartfelt concession speech. It was almost like the maverick had returned for a brief moment. Then we watched history – President-Elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. And the tears almost came again for me while they flowed freely from my wife.

I’m not one to think that this will all together solve racism. But, I now know there is hope. For a brighter future and a brighter day. I thought about my parents and family members who have passed on. I thought about those who have marched and those who have died for the right to vote.

I realized it will be the first time since President John F. Kennedy that a family complete with small children will live in the White House. I realized so many changes are coming at a rapid pace. I watched people around the world celebrate this victory and knew how much one man had just changed the world.

His speech was humble and while not solemn, it was gracious to a nation that he will have to rely on to help him solve many of our problems. They will not go away overnight. And he will be tested on all fronts.

For one night though – all was right in the world.

Congratulations to our new first family – The Obamas.

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President-Elect Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech:

A New Day….

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~ by sladewilson on November 5, 2008.

4 Responses to “History.”

  1. Last night was the first time, I really felt proud to be an American. 🙂

  2. Would it surprise you to know that I cried too? Several times in the last 24 hours in fact and I am white and Canadian. I think there is a beauty to this victory far beyond the color of Obama’s skin, I hear hope for the first time in a very long time. The US finally came together and made a very powerful decision and that in itself…that unity…will make all of the difference in the future. It’s a beautiful thing and while I can’t be proud to be an American, for the first time in a long time I am proud to be your neighbor.

  3. Chica – Honey, tell me about it. I watched his speech again and now looking at the flag had a new meaning for me.

    Ben – Actually, I would be surprised if you didn’t cry. Esp. knowing you. Watching people around the world celebrate was a two-fold revelation for me. It was part joyous and part sad because it really bought home how much damage George W. Bush has done to this country and the perception of this country to our fellow humans around the world.

    This victory stands for so many things to so many different races, creeds, sexes, etc. But the one thing that is universal is hope.

    A few facts that have been released:

    Obama got more of the white male vote than any other candidate in the last four elections.

    Obama got more of the youth to come out and vote than any other candidate in history.

    The last candidate got as many votes as President-Elect Obama was President Jimmy Carter.

    I love these lil’ tidbits…

  4. I am so incredibly happy that I have witnessed this historical moment! I’ve watched history happen before my eyes. America, congratulations on a wise choice! You proved that you are still capable of making wise and responsible decision, and then Americans can still be united around positive ideals. Congratulations, Mr. Obama! *manhugs Slade*

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