Nov. 4th, 2008 - My New Favorite Day
November Fourth, 2008 is thus far going down as my favorite day. I say this rather bold statement with all sincerity. Now I didn't exactly have a previously defined favorite day that this one is replacing. I am not married and have no children so it may have involved a Disneyland experience when I was six years old. Why is this day now my favorite? Well, on this day I felt for the first time in my life truly proud of my fellow citizens, proud of humanity, and proud to be an American.
On this day Barack Obama was elected president and history was made on many levels. The power of the people was proved again and I was there to be a part of it.
On this memorable evening I found myself celebrating with many other young adults at an election potluck party. When the incredible news was announced we found ourselves all joining in a loving 20 person group hug.
From the house we could hear honking and yelling nearby. I decided to check it out and share this joyous moment with even more complete strangers. Never before have I witnessed such shared beaming emotion on the faces of so many people. It was as if it were New Year's Eve, yet one hundred times better because our reasons to celebrate were so deeply profound.
Outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland a huge crowd lingered, cheering and dancing in celebration; inciting passing cars with people hanging outside the windows to honk. As people looked for more ways to express their delight, a dynamic organized celebratory performance broke out. At every turn of the crossing signal the huge crowds split between each side of the street would run to the other side and cheer while giving "high-fives" to the passing strangers along the way. It was beautiful and contagious. Waiting on the periphery like a game of double dutch I eventually jumped in to be a part of it.
I will never forget this day. The day America finally lived up to all I always thought it was supposed to be. The day I knew that my international travels would no longer be tainted. The day when hope beat fear and progress beat cynicism.
My new favorite day, November Fourth, 2008.