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Yes, We Can.

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(Today’s post was written by guest writer, Monica Rix Paxson, co-writer of Benjamin Franklin award

Everyone who helped got a text message from Barack, who is now on first name terms with them.

Everyone who helped got a text message from Barack, who is now on first name terms with them.

winning book “Dead Mars, Dying Earth,” who was reporting from Chicago’s Grant Park on the day of the election.)


Yes We Did and I Was There

Chicago, IL, November 5th, 2008, (Reuters).- For a week I’d been telling everyone I spoke to that they really shouldn’t miss it, that they should be at Chicago’s Grant Park on the night of the election; that they should be there for the party of the century. “It’s something that your grandchildren will talk about — that you were there the night Barack Obama won.”

To me, it was obvious. It was like the opportunity to be there when Lincoln read the Gettysburg Address, or when Martin Luther King spoke at the Lincoln Monument. For the rest of my life I will be able to say to anyone who was there, “Do you remember the night Obama won?” and they will smile and say, “How could I forget?”

People, tens of thousands of us, burst from subways and busses to converge in the park, yelling, chanting and laughing as we marched to the blare of car horns and sirens, hearts thrumming, shaking hands and hugging strangers. We couldn’t believe it! Barack Obama was ahead! All our efforts, all of our money, all of our votes: Could it have made a difference?

It was literally too much to hope for, even in the face of the evidence. In fact, when we learned that McCain was conceding, the reality of the victory dawned slowly. We’d won? We’d actually won? Was Barack Obama going to be our next President? It took a while to process the reality that this phenomenal man had actually led us to victory by mustering a level of organization that rivaled that of any military operation. He had delivered us.

As we stood shoulder to shoulder, watching our new leader on the Videotron, his voice echoed off the high rises on the other side of Michigan Avenue’s wide expanse. Yes we can! Yes. Yes. Yes we can. It was a miracle under the clear night sky. A black man will be our leader. A black woman will be our first lady. A peaceful revolution has taken place and the future of America has been transformed. Our starved ideals and aspirations are nourished once again. Finally, after all this time, there is hope.

I was riding the bus home when my phone indicated that a text message had just arrived.

“Date: 11/5/2008 1:32am

We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion to this campaign. All of this happened because of you. Thanks. Barack”

You are welcome Mr. President.