Become a Fan
By Kay F Durden
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
This is one of the short stories taken from my memoir, and about my first visit to Washington DC. It entails thoughts about witnessing Senator Barack Obama take the oath of office to become president of the United States of America.
For a number of years I had not been particularly excited about politics or followed what was happening in Washington DC or around the world. However, I loved the Kennedys and felt we incurred a great loss when John and Robert’s lives were taken while I was still young. I‘ve also been very partial to Bill Clinton, because I know he like all men, are men before anything else.
The past January 2008, I watched the Iowa Caucuses and listened to potential Presidential candidate Barack Obama speak of change and lead a victory campaign over Hillary Clinton.
I’m both proud and happy for Senator Obama who is the first African American to be a serious contender for the presidency. I feel Martin Luther King, Malcolm, Meager and every other African American, and nonblack who marched, sat, or refused to be treated other than first class are smiling from the windows of heaven.
Those still living who participated in those events are certainly reflecting on days gone by, as they savor the bittersweet victory.
I am also excited about Hillary Clinton who has setup a platform for women to come, and is the first woman to be a contender for the office of President of the United States.
Certainly it’s also a proud day for the descendants of the Women’s suffrage movement and every woman, who is aware of, or not, of the struggle women first fought to become not only mothers, wives, sister, aunts, nieces, but first class citizens prior to the civil rights movement.
This is a new day for both African Americans and women of all races. Nevertheless, many injustices still occur daily to both and I wonder if our country is truly ready for either.
In August of 2008, seven months later Senator Obama accepted the nomination for presidency of The United States.
I believe Senator Obama if elected with the help of his running mate is going to be one of the best presidents we’ve ever had because he knows the struggle and will not likely forget it.
I pray God blesses him, his running mate, and their families, and I’m glad Florida was not the one state that determined the outcome of the election.
On November 2nd Republican, John McCain conceded the race to President Elect Barack Obama, and today is Friday January 16th 2009, days from the Inauguration of the first African American president of the United States.
I was fortunate to be able to attend the inauguration along with millions of other citizens. That Tuesday morning January 20, 2009, those of us riding chartered buses arrived at the designated parking area of the RFK center and what appeared to be a sea of buses.
The buses were preemptive to what we would see as we exited the shuttle and walked Independence Avenue with thousands of others. There we met thousands more who had already secured their standing only spots.
Others both in front of and behind us walked speedily and unprompted shoulder to shoulder toward the Lincoln Memorial. There they would view the giant screens that would show President Elect Barack Obama, and allow them to be part of the history making event.
As we waited, more streams of people crowded all the available areas as police, secret service, army national guard, and other protectors watched and stood in abeyance.
Within minutes, the mall was filled with women, men, and children awaiting the words of our newly elected president. Blacks, whites, and others stood in the millions and shared adulation as President Barack Obama took his oath of office.
As I left the mall area headed back to the shuttle, and our bus I thought about the fact my first trip to Washington DC would be one of those most memorable.
I also thought about two children I had an opportunity to speak to while there. Both were little boys and appeared to be younger than twelve. One was on the crowded shuttle with his mother who was from Birmingham Alabama. As she and I sat and talked, he stood in the isle and took snap-shots of the White House as we waited in traffic gridlock.
The other child accompanied his mother on our chartered bus and we all sat at dinner later that evening and talked about the events of the day. There were thousands of children there, but I thought of those two specifically and their presence.
I knew that some day they each would be able to tell someone much younger, “I was there with my mother when the first African American president took the oath of office”.
I knew after that day, neither they, or any other person of any color would ever have to climb through a window to meet with a president as it was said one notable African American had to do.
I also knew the White House that was built by the blood, sweat and most certainly some tears of slaves would be open to everyone, and they could proudly enter through the front door after January 20, 2009.
Days later I saw newspaper headlines and watched numerous television networks talk and write about the historical event. They showed Martin Luther King and other African Americans and non-blacks, who were lynched and jailed for fighting years past for one special day.
That day came January, 20, 2009 when, blacks, whites, and others walked shoulder to shoulder to watch the first African American family not only walk through the front doors of the White House, but claim it as their residence.
Site: Living Between The tracks
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Kay F Durden