Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching the Inauguration in the OTHER Washington

The Hilton hotel in Vancouver, WA was thousands of miles away from the Washington Mall but it felt almost like "being there" to me. Dan and I watched the inauguration with friends at the bar of the hotel, in front of a flat screen TV more frequently used to show Blazer games.

Over breakfast and coffee, we watched Obama take the oath, heard Aretha sing, listened to Elizabeth Alexander's poem and stood like the millions there as we sang the national anthem along with the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters.

Tears flowed from us all, I think, along with huge cheers and loud clapping at key moments. Wow. I just kept saying wow. That first time I heard Obama introduced as "the 44th president of the United States" - I don't think I'll ever forget that proud, ecstatic feeling.

And, back at home, just when I thought my tears were dry, I came upon this story about Kakamega, the very town Dan and I lived in during our Peace Corps experience 20 years ago. Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a South African singer who was popular in Kenya "back in our day" gave a free concert in Kakamega to celebrate "Obama Day" and promote a much-needed anti-malaria campaign. Wow, again. Talk about the circle of life.

For more photos for the Daily Nation, Kenya's newspaper, see this story: "Kenya awaits Obama's inauguration"


Pam said...

Hi, I loved watching the events of today. I lived in Washington DC for nine months after college and have many happy memories. I could not help feeling today that barriers of all sorts of types are being broken and that we are on our way to truly being a united and better America.Pam

Carol said...

I couldn't agree more!

Anonymous said...

Man, they just needed to stop showing Representative Lewis...everytime they showed him, I just bawled and couldn't focus. I had to read President Obama's speech four times on the internet....man, there are paragraphs that I can identify with...(yes, I blogged about it :))


P.S. My middle boy saw it at school (along with oldest) and he said "it was awesome!" (he's my Obama boy) and then he said that he saw McCain in the helicopter...My mom did do a snarky, "Hit the road Jack" at the helicopter point, too.