I don't know what you did with your day, but I started mine shortly after midnight by picking my brother up at the Glenmont metro stop after he partied with an old friend on a local college campus. Then I got a few hours of sleep and headed out with my Mother, Brother, Brother-in-Law, Aunt and Niece to DC. We caught a bus, a train, and hoofed it around the District for a while. After a few fits and starts, with lines that lead to closed gates, we found our way to the National Mall.
We bivouacked behind the Washington Monument and settled in amid cold breezes and warm sunshine. If you saw the speech then you know that the eight year era of retarded ramblings is over. More than that, we all can begin to think about what life is like with a chief executive who can spin oratory that will one day be famous for its excellence rather than its lack of cohesion.
While we all stood there, more than a million strong, I was struck by how united we all felt. Along the way, my family and I acquired the company of a trio young Howard University students who ended up spending the rest of the day with of us. It was eye opening to see just how important this event was to these three young black students. But, we also got to have little moments with people of every stripe who overheard comments we made among our group.
For one frigid day it was as if the million plus people in the mall were one small town, where Mayberryesque interaction ruled the day. Everyone had a smile on their face, and a kind word for the people they passed, and it reminded me of the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Whereas the burgeoning embers of togetherness were never flamed in '01, with the people told to go shopping in response to the tragedy, things can be different this time.
If we can find a way to build on the overabundance of goodwill that I witnessed today, and if Barack Obama can be the divining rod that leads us to that result, the world will be a better place. We as a nation are never as good as when we are all together, united in our love of our nation, and our understanding of our place in the world.