Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November 5: Tears of Joy

It was surreal.

Throughout last night and into this morning, I just felt like I was in a movie. Like, this stuff doesn't happen in real life. But it did.

I didn't believe it when I was watching it. I had dozed off apparently for a bit, what felt like just closing and opening my eyes for a second, that in real life must have been about an hour. Plastered on the screen it had Obama projected as the winner. I blinked, sat up, and didn't believe my eyes. A few minutes later McCain gave his concession speech, arguably the best speech he's given in the past few months (and no, not just because it was him giving up).

And then the wait. Camera's panned over the 200k gathered to hear their President-Elect. The music started, the crowd roared, millions of eyes all across the country and the world including my own glistened with tears of joy. Tears of hope. The turmoil and seemingly snails pace of the last 20-odd months since this insane shindig started melted away, one tear at a time. I wonder how many eyes, overflowing with pride, were even left able to see him delivering the final stirring paragraphs. I know mine weren't.

This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can.