Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted for Our First Black President

It was absolutely amazing this morning.

I woke up at 5am, sleep would not hold me to my king-sized, solid wood bed this magical morning.
Darkness was still over us like a warm blanket, warming, and comforting. I dressed and made my way downstairs for some yogurt and a chocolate, soy latte. My husband stirred about 20 minutes later and prepared to go make history. We drove together the short three blocks to our polling place in Kirkwood, Missouri. We thought we would be one of the early ones. We were wrong!

We found our place in an already long line at 5:45am. In less than 10 minutes, the line was stretched down to the end of the block and there were over 100 people waiting. The earliest people in line arrived at 5:15am. I was so happy!

The most amazing thing to me was to see a daughter pushing her elderly mother, age 79, in a wheelchair. I gave my husband my coffee and went to help her across the street. It was my honor to assist one of our elders who lived through so many of America's dark days. She was coming to cast her ballot.

America was at my polling place on Taylor Avenue in Kirkwood, a little suburb in St. Louis County. I saw young people, I saw young black men patiently waiting, contemplating the history they were about to make. I saw couples, I saw fathers taking their sons to vote for the first time. The entire neighborhood was there, definitely 7 of the houses on my street were already there, I know 5 are Obama supporters. I was witnessing what he talked about in this long journey of a campaign.

I asked for a paper ballot and am thankful for the League of Women Voters and the Missouri Bar Association for their information on the ballots and the judges, respectively. The booklet from the LWV was the most helpful with the many amendments and propositions. I was able to use my time in line to review the other issues and be prepared to darken my oval.

The energy in the line was amazing and as the hour wore on, the determination to vote was evident. When I finally made it inside, my excitement jumped up. It was my time, my turn to make my vote for Senator Barack Obama and for the rest of the Democratic nominees in my state. I cast my ballot for my late father, for my great cloud of witnesses, for the many, many lives lost in this country to make this moment possible.

I voted and I am an American and I made history this morning. It was well worth the two hours.

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