Obama’s Inauguration: What It Meant to Them — Part VI

Posted by Katherine | January 24, 2009 – 1:36 pm
Love parody of Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster
Make your own version here.
[patriotworld / Flickr]

Babychaser is a lawyer living in Maryland near DC. She’s 36 years old and has been struggling since 2005 to conceive a child with her husband/partner(?). On inauguration day, they walked and walked to get to the ceremony, and in the end it was worth it on several levels:

I was there. It was a pain in the ass, physically brutal, and not entirely fun, but I was there. When the tide turned, when America took that great leap forward, when we once again became a model for other countries to follow, rather than a subject of derision and disgust. I was there. […]

I thought I would cry when Obama was sworn in, like I did the night they called the election. But my reaction—and the reaction of the crowd—was much more subtle than that. I had thought we were coming out to the Mall to celebrate, to welcome Obama, to revel in our jubilation. And yes, that was a part of it. But when the ceremony started I realized that our real purpose was deeper, more profound: we were there to stand as witnesses to the moment. […]

And then the speech was over, and I turned with the crowd to start the long trek home. But before I had gone two feet J spun me around and kissed me, hard. We kissed for a long time, and that’s when I cried, just a little. Surrounded by thousands of strangers, and sitting in the lap of history itself, there was a moment where it was just the two of us. Live hasn’t given us everything we’ve wanted, and god knows we’ve had it hard the last few years. But we are a unit, a team. And like everything important in life, this was something we witnessed together. As I told him in a very cheesy e-mail the next day (he had to drive back to Philly Tuesday night), I’ll remember that kiss till the day I die.

After that came the more prosaic “human gridlock” of leaving the Mall.


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