Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This is Our Time, This is Our Moment

It has been hard for me to find the words to write today. So many emotions have overtaken me in the last 24 hours. Yesterday as I worked in a get out the vote office, there was confidence that this time would be different. Then I felt fear, do we have enough volunteers are we knocking on enough doors, is something going wrong at the polls. Exhaustion as I wondered if the day would ever be over.

Then as we were packing up the office and the very first polls closed, I was afraid to watch the television. Could something go wrong?.

Then as I was driving to the Pickerington Campaign for Change office, I heard on the radio NPR calling Pennsylvania for Obama. For the first time I felt absolute joy. I jumped up and down in my car seat. My cell phone rang. A volunteer who was behind me in her car saw me jumping asking me what happened, "why are you jumping up and down?" I told her, I heard her scream of joy.

I arrived at the office. About 50 of us that had worked together for months, making calls, knocking on doors, organizing, meeting, and so many things had gathered. A room full of people that didn't know each other 2 months ago. People of all ages, races, different neighborhoods, different jobs, we sat there together in the dark our eyes glued to the images coming in from MSNBC. People all with so much hope, yet still there was this twinge of fear, or was it disbelief.

Then they called Ohio for Obama. The room erupted. We were all on our feet, screaming yelling, hugging each other, and crying. What we all had worked for was happening. Next, dozens of us were outside all on our cell phones, calling our loved ones, our friends, our family, sharing the incredible moment.

We then watched and waited to see the election called nationally for Barack. More cheers, more hugs, more handshakes. We watched McCain's speech. Then Barack came out in Chicago. The room was silent once again as we listened to every word. Tears flowed, smiles were broad. Such incredible happiness of being part of history.

Barack Obama not only won an election. He did indeed lead a movement. He brought not only our group in Pickerington together for a common purpose, but he did this in towns, villages and neighborhoods throughout this country. He got us to believe again. He got us to hope.

I will never forget the people that I worked with the last few months. The young campaign staffers, who's drive and determination kept us all going, and working harder, sometimes more then we planned on doing. The ladies who were in that office every day doing whatever was needed. Making calls, cleaning, feeding us, keeping our spirits up. The hundreds of people I walked neighborhoods with, knocked on doors with, made phone calls beside.

The people that spent their Tuesday, to do whatever it took on election day. The people that walked 2 or 3 shifts for hours knocking on doors. The others that stood at the polls watching and counting and informing, including a 17 year old senior in high school who started her day at 6 am at our meeting place and spent the majority of the next 13 hours at a polling location.

We believed that this election was going to be different. We believed that we could do something to bring the change our country needed. We believed that if we worked hard enough, we could be part of electing Barack Obama President of the United States. What we believed came to be.

Thank you Barack Obama. Thank you to my new friends and neighbors. Thank you to my loved ones and family who put up with me not being around much the last few months. Thank you Ohio and thank you America.

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