Posted by: nichemarketplace | November 14, 2008

Barack Obama & September 11 — the ties that bind

election-night-2008
Caption: A VISION OF HOPE

While every blogger on the face of the virtual planet has already pronounced his or her verdict on the 2008 Presidential Election, I can’t resist offering my own humble impressions …

We don’t always recognize the transformational moments in our lives when we experience them. I vividly remember the first time I used a computer, dialed a cell phone, and surfed the internet. Yet I freely confess, at the time, I had little awareness of how rapidly or dramatically these technologies would change my daily existence.

Conversely, there are pivotal moments in history against which we measure the progress of our lives. We will always remember where we were and what we were doing when …

Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream;
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated;
Richard Nixon resigned the presidency;
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon;
The Berlin Wall fell.

9/11 was one such moment. No one who saw the Twin Towers collapse on that fateful morning had any doubt that the world would never be the same. The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States was another such moment.

These two events are linked. They were both defining moments in our national psyche. On September 11, 2001, all Americans were united by their sense of grief. On November 4, 2008, all Americans were united by an undeniable sense of history. Individually and collectively, we knew were experiencing a moment that our children and grandchildren would ask us about. In my view, these two events are two sides of the same coin. Each, in its own way, brought out the best in us as Americans.

On Election Night, I heard a CNN commentator observe how strange this election must appear to the rest of the world. In 2004, the American people reelected George W. Bush. A mere four years later, they elected a candidate that is, in many respects, Bush’s polar opposite. In my view, the commentator’s remark was a distinct understatement. In many parts of the world, peaceful, freely-contested elections are nothing short of a dream and it is no exaggeration to say that the only way a standing President ever leaves office is in a pine box.

CNN asked viewers to offer their personal stories about Obama’s historic election. In the thrill of the moment, I shared the following comment:

My Family, My Future! African American, Hispanic American, Jewish American — regardless of ethnic affiliation — the motivation was the same … voting for Barack Obama was act of faith in the future of the U.S. and the planet. As a proud and committed American Jewish woman, I voted for Obama because I want a better America and a better world for my son, for my future grandchildren, and for my son’s two biracial half-sisters who live across the globe in Jerusalem, Israel. I want all of them to know — unequivocally and unconditionally — that their highest dreams and goals are within their grasp … that with hope and faith, there is nothing that we cannot achieve together!

It has been more than two weeks since Election Night 2008. The yard signs are crumpled up in the trash or are slowly decomposing from the perpetual Seattle dampness. In our overcrowded house, we are anxiously searching for some space to store all the Obama merchandise we’ve collected (T-shirts, a baseball hat, even a commemorative poster). Nevertheless the black and white rectangular sticker on the bumper of my screaming yellow hatchback bears testimony to our deepest aspirations for the future: Got Hope?

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