A year ago Tuvia and I strolled on the Capital Mall with many other Americas. We were all giddy as we began celebrating on the eve of Barack Obama’s Inauguration.
Yes, in the middle of January, it was cold but we didn’t feel it. We watched groups prepared to spend the night sleeping as close to their current spots as they could, ready to welcome a new president with a very different agenda than the one who was departing.
We were there to feel the energy knowing that when we left for the night we would probably not get back early enough in the morning to join the celebrants here. But we didn’t care. It was going to happen and we would be somewhere close by.
One year ago we were up by 5 AM. By 6 we were traveling from our hotel in Baltimore, in the taxi bound back to the DC mall, or as close as we could get.
Arriving at Central Station as the sun rose we joined a crowd of Obama celebrants and started walking to the Capital building right in front of us. Too bad we were on the wrong side. But at that moment, we didn’t know we were not going to get too far, we were just giddy with joy.
Finally we arrived at a place where we were stuck with lots of other Americans and luckily by 11 AM just before the start of the ceremony we were able to watch the Inauguration on a big flat screened TV in a warm bar over a lunch of hot coffee and quesidillas. We gladly shared our table with a Hispanic couple who live us had traveled from New Jersey just to be in the city. I watched the young woman as Obama was sworn in’ tears streamed down her face. The reality for all of us was overpowering.
I am remembering that moment right this minute as I watch a repeat of Keith Oberman’s show from last night focused on the Massachusetts election for a successor to Ted Kennedy and it could happen that the seat will be filled with a very crazed conservative voice, possibly dooming health care reform.
All day today I will hold my breath. I will try to focus on other things but Tuvia and I together, will spend the day marking time until the results start to come in.
Just a short year ago we were celebrating the coming of change.
Change is dangerous for some. Fire up and bring it on!
I am sharing this day with every voter in Massachusets who is pulling the lever to honor the work and passion and vision of Ted Kennedy.