Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Night

We ventured out to be among the sea of people in Grant Park. I was a little hesitant as police were in riot gear, prepared for the worst. And there were some frightening predictions of what might happen. But in the end, there was no need to be worried.

We began our night at the Berghoff, a more than 100-year-old German restaurant and bar. For me, this was one of the best parts of the night because of the camaraderie. The guy at the table next to us predicted a Nixonian landslide like in 1972 and every time Obama won a state the place erupted in cheers.

Around 9 p.m., we headed over to Grant Park, picking up tee-shirts along the way. Everywhere you turned there were people. But instead of being chaotic, there was just excitement in the air.

In comparison to the first election I participated in (Bush vs. Kerry) where most people were apathetic, this was extraordinary. People were politically engaged, something I haven't witnessed as an adult. And it wasn't just because it was a landmark election. It was because people cared and were passionate about change. All of this made for an electric climate in Grant Park as everyone waited in anticipation. As we stood in the middle of Jackson Street with jumbotrons all around, CNN made the announcement that changed history--Obama won. And everyone started screaming, clapping and jumping around. There was such excitement. It was incredible that I saw history happen right in front of me surrounded by the beautiful buildings of Chicago all lit especially for the occasion.

Needless to say I proudly wore my t-shirt the next day, which said "Chicago's In the House"! Daughter.

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