As if things weren't strange enough throughout this entire election campaign, I watched the announcement of Barack Obama winning the American presidency on the Al-Jazeera network. It seemed entirely fitting and everything was wildly positive.
- I've got a really shitty memory.
- I did feel enormous pride in the country immediately after 9/11 but much of that pride came from the worldwide support for the United States and not necessarily just the domestic American reaction. That was a pretty different time, though, and that feeling has been drained away by the painful and crushing presidency of George Bush and the damage it has done to the entire world.
I came home from work this afternoon after watching McCain concede. I thought it appropriate to listen to Obama's victory speech with my children, who should remember this for the rest of their lives (except perhaps for my 3 year old).
As I sat watching, I knew I was crying. I could feel my daughter looking at me. She didn't ask why. She could figure it out, even if she couldn't fully understand it. She turned her own attention to the TV and the president-elect. She sat there in front of me, watching and listening. My son sat next to me, as did my wife. It was really special and I couldn't help shake the feeling that this amazing moment was not hype...it was and still is, completely real. Here's Kaia watching Obama.
I received emails and messages all afternoon from people I know, congratulating me and the United States on the new president-elect. It really doesn't get any better than that. This win impacts so many.
After the speech was over, I glanced out the window to see a crazy, yellow glow permeating everything. The sun was setting and the air was hot. I walked outside and a beautiful rainbow was visible over the neighbour's house. No, I don't think my new president had anything to do with that view but it sure felt possible at that moment.
What a great step the entire world has taken today. It's nice to feel positive about the future.