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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wednesday morning: President elect Obama

We watched the election this morning in the boys' room, all of us crowded together on the floor and bed because it's so tiny in there. Now we're going to run down to Family Mart and grab some snacks so we can watch Obama's speech in our room.

I know that I haven't used this blog much for my thoughts and feelings... only events. But I am so overcome with emotion right now.

I felt very patriotic after 9/11. I remember sitting on the street in front of Tim's house with Johnny and waving flags and holding candles. I remember walking with my candle down Washington Street with my family. But I remember being scared. I remember it was a pride mixed with uncertainty, and fear. It was a pride mixed with skepticism for Bush's ability to really lead us as a nation away from the terror and mourning. It was a confusing time to be an American teenager. I was taking a class at the time called Facing History and Ourselves, which included a huge national identity component to begin with. The first assignment was to create an art project about our identities, making sure to take into consideration our feelings about nationality. The class took a two or three week break from scheduled lessons right after Sept. 11 to focus on Middle Eastern history, current foreign relations and day to day reactions to the attacks.

Today, as I sit and look over the city of Tokyo outside my window, tears streaming down my face, I can honestly say I have never felt the way I do right now. I am so proud to be American. I am proud that as a country we made the choice for change. We made a choice to learn from our mistakes and to move forward. I have so much hope for the future. Both the immediate future in terms of our economy, the war and healthcare, but also the future of our great nation over a longer time period. This campaign started from the ground. It means that the people still have a true democratic voice. It's a huge step, obviously for African Americans, but really for all of us.

I am so glad to be in Japan, I will never forget this. It's such a strange feeling to be this happy, and to realize that around us, everyone here is just going about their day. All around the hotel people are just working and talking and eating as if it's any other Wednesday. Part of me wishes we were in America celebrating with everyone. I want to hug everyone. I want to embrace all of America. I want to call Nick who is in Chicago, where Obama will be speaking in just a few moments. We are all connected. I even feel connected to my conservative friends right now. McCain's speech made me cry. I think that America can become the most united since her conception with Obama as our leader.

Before I go so we can eat and watch the speech -I want to tell you this: I have a patient who came to mind immediately when CNN called the election. Mr. C. He was from Jamaica, and talked of the slavery in his country where he grew up. Mr. C was one of my favorites. He called me simply, "nurse," and was very friendly and always so cheerful. He was from a family of slaves, but came to America when he was young and got an education; he eventually became a teacher. He taught in South Boston during the race riots of the 1960s and also got his Masters degree. Mr. C was a very well educated gentleman. One day, he came to me crying. It was the morning after the Democratic National Convention. He said, "Nurse, I am crying for I am so happy now. To think in my life time a man like Obama may be president. It makes my heart joyful." When Mr. C was discharged he was going to go back to Jamaica for the winter, because the cold is too hard on him in Boston. But I know that wherever he is right now, he is experiencing more joy than I can even imagine.

It is a beautiful day in Tokyo, it is a beautiful day for America. I have never felt this way before, but I can tell that this hope and this faith is the beginning of something amazing and new. America just entered a whole new era, and I am so thankful that it's occurring in my lifetime.
God Blesses America.

2 comments:

liz said...

Ditto.

I made it home just in time for the speech and a phone call, and then I cried like a retard. Because we are so lucky to be alive right now.

bohopenguin said...

Hey cuz! I'm so glad you're having a nice time in Tokyo and that you're able to experience such a wonderful event in American history whilst over there! I have to go catch up on your last few posts (I didn't realize you still posted here!) but enjoy the rest of your trip!

I can't wait for you to get back, though, because I need someone to be giddy-proud-emotional with — it seems like all day I've only encountered people who *weren't* happy with the results (my father, for one, heh) and their very non-political "reasons" have just been so disheartening. We've come a long way as a country, but we still have quite a way to go. Still, with such a huge step forward, I feel so confident we'll get there.

-Laura