Last night was, of course, historic.
It was also inspiring, beautiful, personal, affecting, communal, and changing.
Last night, CNN called the election at 10pm.
McCain made his concession at 10:30pm.
Obama addressed the nation at 11pm.
At 11:45pm, we took to the streets.
Amelia and I live on a small college campus of about 1300 students in the middle of a working class town.We were in our room with some friends eating, cheering, studying, and watching CNN. We had our windows open and kept hearing people screaming, so we decided to explore. We walked towards the center of campus to see a line of several hundred students walking. Joining in, we found ourselves walking towards Old Main, the most prestigious building on campus, the last remaining site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate and the place where Abe Lincoln first publicly denounced slavery on moral grounds.
We stood on the steps of that historic building celebrating another historic moment, the election of our first black president. Surrounded by most of the campus, chanting, screaming, crying, laughing, I felt proud. Something deep inside me, something I've never known before, something I've never expected to feel, came to the surface.
I loved my country in that moment.
I loved that I could stand there, on those steps where Abe Lincoln stood before me and be surrounded by chaotic young people of all colors. That we could yell together. That we could cry together. That we could march together, later, through the streets, running and skipping, hugging and smiling, holding hands and cheering. We were, we are unified. We are American, and under the leadership of Barack Obama, I am proud of that fact.