Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two Million United Americans

During my senior year of high school in 2006, my US Citizenship teacher, Mr. Belcher, showed the class a taping of an Oprah show. On this particular show, she spoke to Barack Obama, who was currently the senator of Illinois. At this time, he had no intention of running for president. I turned to my classmate and said, “I hope he runs, because I would totally vote for him.” On November 4th, 2008, I did just that. Today, I witnessed his inauguration as the President of the United States of America.

Today was a whirlwind. January 20th, 2009 is a day that will go down in the history books for generations to come. The first African American president was inaugurated into office in the United States, and I was there to witness history in the making. The 4 AM wakeup call didn’t rustle my feathers. The anticipation of the event was enough to keep me from a deep sleep.

The most recent estimation I’ve seen is roughly 2 million people in attendance. When you hear the number, it seems like a lot, but it is a completely different situation when you are there in the middle of it all. In fact, it was quite amazing to see. This inauguration brought the country together in a way that I have never seen. As five other students and I walked through the crowd, we heard the stories of people from all over the nation. Many spoke about how Obama represents hope, change and forward movement. There were no racial barriers in the crowd, just 2 million united Americans, cheering for a man that can hopefully change this country for the better.

I feel blessed to have been able to attend Barack Obama’s inauguration this morning. I think the whole country is ready for a new leader, one equipped with plans to help pull the United States to its feet once again. With tiny American flags waving violently in the wind, 2 million people shouted “O-ba-ma” at the top of their lungs to ring in the new president – a new era in American history.

Maddie Hayes


  1. I am very glad that you had such a fun time and I wish that I could have been there to witness this historic event. Unfortunatly my knee prevented my from staying but just the thought of me being only miles aways was good enough for me. It was a historic event and all though I didn't vote for Obama I am glad that our nation can show that it doesn't matter what color you are, black, white, yellow or red that you can do anything you put your mind to and that is exactly what Obama did and now he is President.

    Patrick Kenney

  2. I agree this was a very cool and historic event to be a part of. It is amazing to see our country so together and full of hope. It is a good change that we needed to see. I'm glad that you had a great experience too!

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  4. Sure, it was the first African American elected President - but I thought it has been interesting seeing how that fact has been emphasized by the media and the people, but was never emphasized by the President himself. As the Jumbotron circulated shots of Sean Combs, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce Knowles during the dignitaries' portion of the ceremony, and focused largely on African Americans in the crowd, I wondered. King's dream was for a nation that saw no difference between people based on the color of their skin; our reality is that it's all that matters - still.

    -James Spung


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