Rae: Oddly I have no idea what to say here today. Four years ago today I woke up full of heartache and fear. Fear about the war not ending, fear about more lives lost, fear about money and our life in general.
We were having a screened in porch put on our house and I had to get up and let the workmen in. I was deeply resentful that I could not stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. And that I had to keep getting up each morning because they were there. And that I had to put on clothes. I just wanted to spend a week in bed. And that probably would have been good for me. Instead I was depressed for a long time.
So for the approximate 48% of you out there waking up today I do know how you feel. I have been feeling that way for the last 8 years. And I am thinking about you today. And I am sorry you feel bad. I just say to you give our new President a chance. Let's see where things go. I have a good feeling about this.
John: I feel a bit lighter, brighter, more hopeful this morning than I have in a long time. I was SO discouraged when Bush won the first time, and even more so when it happened again. I would have been distraught had McCain won, even though I have held a great deal of respect and admiration for McCain since his run in 2000. I just could not have imagined Palin that close to the Presidency. But Obama has held to his message of hope and healing and I think the country is ready for this...at least a large part of the country. There are still folks (I ran into some last night) that are vehement about Democratic control and I must add, the thought of an African American as President. I wish I could shake those people and tell them to wake up to the real world. They will likely never change.
But I think one of the most important things is the message this sends to both young African Americans and youth in general. The joint messages that not only can you achieve what you dream but that youth can make a difference. Their vote matters. That is such a powerful and needed message at this time in our history. Today, I am so proud to be an American and hope we can restore not only our stature on the world stage as THE country of hope and righteousness, but within our country as the land of opportunity. Yes, our country has held that for many, but not all...in my opinion. I am blessed and fortunate to have been born, not only with the God-given talents I possess, but with loving parents, a stable home as a child, and I was not saddled with trying to overcome issues of racism OR sexism as I worked to support my family. I have been fortunate, blessed and am humbled hoping I can look at my life and say, I took what I was given and did not waste my life. That I was fair and respectful of people, regardless of their sex or color or religion. That I raised children who live their lives with these same ideals. This election nutures hopes for a better America.
I am so hopeful. Now the tough work begins.