This is the day that countless people the world over have been waiting for. It is a greatly anticipated “changing of the guard.” Goodbye George W. Bush and Hello Barack H. Obama!! It’s a day of hope, a harbinger of change, a return to ideals. In many ways, it’s a global do-over. It is the street cleaner that has come along to sweep up the mess of the last administration. It’s an historical moment, one you can feel with all of your senses. I felt it as I watched countless people in places such as California, the Bronx, Tennessee, Georgia, Afghanistan, Chicago, England, and Kenya tune in to the crowning of our 44th president. The emotions were palpable, the excitement contagious, the joy infectious. I felt it as I swelled up with the emotion, the promise, and eloquence of Obama’s speech.
For me, as one little bystander in my little corner of the world, it IS about hope. I felt hopeful the first time I heard Obama speak. I remember saying to my mom (who was supporting Hillary at the time) that I felt about Obama the way she must have felt about Kennedy. It was the only way to articulate what was going through my mind. I was excited about the possibilities, engaged in politics, and every time I heard him speak – the articulacy and the passion – I became more and more convinced that this man was going to make some very positive changes in the world.
This is a defining moment in our lives and the lives of our children. I see it as a time when I would like hope to prevail over cynicism. Where intelligence and eloquence will be celebrated over ignorance. Where love will begin to truly triumph over hate. Where we once again focus on doing what is right, instead of doing what is easy. Where we all contribute to the greater good – because whether or not we voted for this President, we should all certainly stand behind him as he tries to make good on his promises. Where we realize that the welfare of this nation, and all of the nations that were tuning in today, can be impacted by the collective actions of each and every one of us.
So today, I feel hope. As a woman, I feel hope. As a mother of two young daughters, I feel hope. As a working mother, I feel hope. As a middle-class American, who is thankful for a job and a roof over her head, I feel hope. As a woman who has witnessed September 11, and some of the most horrific, life-altering events of her lifetime, I feel hope. As a proud citizen of the United States of America, I feel hope.
I know that there are many who are not sharing in my joy. Perhaps it’s a party thing – your candidate did not win the election. Perhaps it’s a race thing – you just aren’t ready to have an African-American serve your country. Perhaps you vote with your wallet. Perhaps you don’t have faith in the message. Perhaps you don’t agree with the direction this country will go in. Whatever your reasons, they are valid and very real to you. But, to turn off your television or snub the dawning of this day, ignorant to this tremendous moment in our history, is to turn your back on progress. Because, agree or disagree with the policies and viewpoints, we should still have “unity of purpose.” Agree or disagree with the politics, we should ALL be rejoicing over the election of a black President of the United States of America.
As a nation, we have come a long way. I personally never thought I would see an African-American president in my lifetime and I feel tremendous pride that this day has finally come. The fact that many Americans voted on the issues at hand, and not the color of the candidate’s skin makes me hopeful. I firmly believe that there IS a way we can all come together for the greater good. As small as my part may be, I am excited to inject my voice and my actions into the process.
Call me what you will – idealistic, a bleeding-heart liberal, “puppet” was also used today – I realize that we all have choices in this world. We have the choice to stand idly by, complaining that things didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to, or we can try to inject ourselves into the process and help make a difference. I stand by my optimism. I stand by my hope for a better nation and better world. I stand by my choice for president. And, I am happy to have been a part of history today!
My husband made the local news media today. In a time when articles about high school coaches usually involve something unsavory and incomprehensible, he appears in print with nothing but praise.
As his wife and his biggest fan, I feel so much pride for him. I am so proud of the man he has become and often in awe of how he touches people’s lives so effortlessly. He is a role model and mentor to so many. Kids truly do gravitate to him and respect the things he has to say. He is a man who does what he does for the love of the game and for the impact he makes on the kids he gets to meet. It’s not about salary or perks. He’s one of the lucky ones — he gets up each and every day, grateful that he gets to live his passion.
The Rivers School is so lucky to have such a dedicated, honorable faculty member. And, we are lucky to have such an incredible husband, father, and friend. We love you, Bobby. Congratulations on a wonderful article — you deserve all of the accolades you received (and then some)!! You inspire all of us and the world truly could use more people like you! xoxoxox