I’ve heard about this “change” sweeping the nation on the 6 o’clock news. I’ve read the papers; I’ve seen the images on TV.
Sometimes, though, I’ve pretended to know exactly what this “change” means because everyone else says they do. I do know the country has gone to hell in a hand basket these last eight years, and I know we need a new direction. But I’ve been waiting for that moment to feel exactly what this movement is all about it. Sunday, I had the moment.
At the biggest party in the country at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, I felt it on the face of a 60-something black woman in grey dreads with a fake tattoo of Barack Obama’s face on her cheek, stretched thin from her beaming smile.
I felt it as thousands of us swayed to Mary J. Blige’s rendition of Lean on Me as we all sang along lowly and peacefully.
I felt it in the moment a young couple stole to share a gentle kiss as Bruce Springsteen sang Come On Up for the Rising in the background.
And, as the party raged jubilantly on, I felt it in a touching moment with 63-year-old Mary Hason, who travelled from Chicago to see Obama inaugurated. She recalled marching in civil rights protests in the 1960s, and traveling to Milwaukee to canvass for Obama during the election.
She stopped for a moment and began to cry. “Our country finally got to this point,” she said.