I like the sound of that… President-elect Barack Obama.
World history was made in Chicago on November 4, 2008 at Grant Park. And I was there for it. Barack Obama had just been elected President of the United States of America and he was making his acceptance speech at Grant Park.
I was among the crowd outside the “ticket holder” section of Grant Park. The wide range of people were impressive. Young and old, black and white, drunk and sober, sane and insane, smelly and really smelly were well-represented. Everyone I encountered was well-behaved and joyous, even the drunk college kids.
Seriously though; my entire life has been spent experiencing the terrible political effects of Richard Nixon’s Watergate. Cynicism reigned supreme which peaked under Bush 43’s administration which thrived on lies, fear and hate. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton charged their political base, but were unsuccessful at uniting our nation. They were polarizing figures. America desperately needed a presidential candidate to energize and unite our nation. No one could meet that challenge… until now.
Barack Obama is changing the civic attitude of our nation and I witnessed it firsthand last night. The crowd was a true slice of Chicago. I saw black, white, asian, hispanic, rich, poor, middle class, college students, and grade schoolers proudly holding their parents’ hands. It was impossible to determine a demographic majority. I witnessed no discouragement or any form of content for any political figure. The atmosphere was charged with celebration and pride not for a sports team or a fireworks display, but for the future leader of this nation. It was a cherished moment of American history.
The inspiration of Obama can be seen beyond our country’s borders. I’ve never seen so many nations share in our country’s excitement from news reports of people dancing in the streets to message board posts from French women stating that they cried in joy at the news of Obama’s election. Today, our world is filled with some much needed hope.
Attending this rally wasn’t for the intent of taking photographs. I only snapped a small handful which can be found on my flickr page. I simply wanted to express my strong support for President-elect Obama and be a part of world history.
My trusty Nikon 8800 camera, mini-television and headphones accompanied me on this trip. I listened to most of the speech at one of the Native American Warrior statues (the one on the north side) by Ivan Mestrovic at the intersection of East Congress Drive Plaza (just east of Michigan Ave) and Congress Parkway. The loud speakers were muffled, so I was fortunate to have my television to hear President-elect Obama’s words crisply. It was inspiring to hear his speech and have the ambiance of his words bouncing off the buildings on Michigan Ave.