Jan 20th is my birthday and I can’t think of any better present this year than having Barack Obama as President.
I’ve never been much of a political person. I have my own views and opinions, but have never been interested in all the politics. A lot of that changed with this past election. Finally someone I felt could represent most of my interests and outlooks was running, and actually won. On November 4th, I watched Obama give his acceptance speech in a room of friends from all walks that I never thought would be as concerned as they were. Here was an entire generation energized by the potential the Obama represented to all of us.
Fifteen years ago I stood in the cold winter air of Washington D.C. on January 20th to watch Bill Clinton get sworn in. I had just turned 13 years old and did not really understand the significance of the moment. My highlight was having the group of people around us join in a chorus of “Happy Birthday”. However looking back on it, I realize that it meant something to my dad. I can’t speak for him, but I imagine he felt that there was someone taking office that represented him and his generation. It’s my turn for that. Coincidentally my dad will be there too!
So a few days after the election I decided that I wanted to be in D.C. again for another inauguration. We booked flight tickets (after a friend offered us floor space on which to crash) and I drafted an email to Nancy Pelosi requesting the free, but incredibly rare tickets. We had very little hope of actually getting tickets but looked forward to joining millions of people on the mall to experience this historic event. To my surprise a few weeks after I had sent in my request, I received an email from Nancy Pelosi letting me know that she would like to offer me tickets to the event. I was ecstatic.
So on Monday, Heather and I will hop on a flight to D.C. to join an estimated 4 million people for an unprecedented celebration. We’ll probably be spending the night on the floor in a friend’s office, 1 block from the Capitol, getting up early to get through the security checks and into place to wait for the official ceremony at noon and for history to take place. I will be twittering non-stop, and doing my best to take photos as I want to document for myself and I know others are interested in a more personal take on the event. If you’re going too, let me know!