It's been a long time since I have said this but today , I am very proud to be American.
Last night's historical election had the world captivated. It had me captivated and the announcement of the 44th President Elect Barack Obama brought tears to my eyes and a renewed hope to my heart. I am inspired by this vote because it shows me that our country is not afraid of the unknown; that it is still willing stand up to
a challenge as we have done since our very existence, and that it still hopes for a society in which democracy, liberty, opportunity, and compassion burn at the core.
Barack Obama presented and represented himself as the best candidate for president. The fact that he is bi-racial is enormous, not only in the context of representing the demographics of our country, but in the great step, symbolic and otherwise, it was to elect a man based on the characteristics he represents and not on the color of his skin. What a wonderful beacon of hope he is not only for african americans but also for children, boys and girls, of all backgrounds. In America, we have always been told we can be whatever we want to be, no matter where we come from, what we look like or who you prey to. Nowhere was this more evident than in Chicago last night when Barack Obama, an african american, son of an immigrant stood, chosen by the people in record numbers, as our next president.
I woke my daughter to tell her the news. She is our future, my future, your future, and I wanted her to hear it from me, that hope is alive and well. What surprised me today too was the calls and emails from foreign friends...from england, hungary, croatia, france, holland, here in belgium and canada. These were all calls of congratulations to me and to our country. The world had lost hope it seems, and today, a flicker of a better future was ignited here in Europe.
The road ahead will be long, and change will not be immediate. There is a lot of expectation riding on Obama's shoulders. The election was won but this is only the beginning. Obama said it best last night:
"It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice...So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other."
Look inward Americans. Look to your neighbors, to your families, and lend a compassionate hand. I believe that success and hope are not measured by our wealth or military might, but by the strength and compassion of our unity as a people. United we stand, divided we fall has a lot of significance today, but most especially for tomorrow.
Obama was a brave choice, but not a surprising one for Americans. He represents who we are today, and today, we are again, very very proud and very hopeful!
Way to go America.