Obama was there, but so was I and 2 million people

What happened in the crowd?  Was it worth braving the cold? Why was I there if I am  Italian? 

"I Have A Dream" by Federica Valabrega

"I Have A Dream" by Federica Valabrega

 

I am not an American citizen. And, the way the paperwork for my visa application is going, I might never be one. But I felt like an American today assisting to history in the making on the National Mall where the first African American was elected President.

"The President and the Flag" by Federica Valabrega

"The President And The Flag" by Federica Valabrega

 

I hope this does not cause my family to cringe. I am, in no way, renouncing my Italian citizenship. But having lived in this country for over seven years, I couldn’t hold the tears and stop the goosebumps when I saw a 98-year-old  black woman from Georgia all bundled up in 20-degree weather to see Obama swear his commitment to this country.  I have no idea if she lived to see the slavery movement, but the sole fact that she woke up at 5 am to be on the Mall before me to celebrate “Mr. President” with her daughter and niece and did not complained once,  brighten my day even more.

"The Tunnel, the Only Way In" by Federica Valabrega

"The Tunnel, The Only Way In" by Federica Valabrega

The hectic morning run to the metro, the crowded ride, the frantic walk through the tunnels with lack of caffeine in my blood, vanished as soon as I met her. She was the living proof that “determination makes for actions” in this country.

"I was there too" by Federica Valabrega

"I Was There Too" by Federica Valabrega

It’s not only because “you voted for him” that we have a black president who is willing to “turn this country inside-out if he has to,” but because of the “determination” of his fellow citizens who did not give up hope and trust in their country and their country’s promise to “eternal freedom and happiness for all.”

"Sunrise of a New Era" by Federica Valabrega

"Sunrise of a New Era" by Federica Valabrega

Determination is what I had when I first moved into this country when I was 17 not knowing the language and my way around my block. Determination today was all around me and made the Inauguration that much more meaningful.

"The crowd And The Flag" by Federica Valabrega

"The Crowd And The Flag" by Federica Valabrega

"Proud" by Federica Valabrega

"Proud" by Federica Valabrega

I saw determination among the many children who braved the early morning rise, leaving their warm beds to join their parents in the gelid street where a nap was not even an option. I saw determination among the many who came as far away as from France, Hawaii, Canada, Jamaica to see Obama in a Jumbotron.

"The Crowd is Watching You" by Federica Valabrega

"The Crowd is Watching You" by Federica Valabrega

I witnessed how determined one can be to walk four miles with a walker and a nice just because she wants her to remember she lived this moment with her grandma when she will be gone. I saw determination in the nurses who took care of hypothermia and crowd-anxiety while missing the whole event. The spoiler alerts from many newspapers that today was going to be “hell” did not stop this countrymen to push their way around to witness what was “The Sunrise of a New Era.”

"Gimme an 'O'" by Federica Valabrega

"Gimme an 'O'" by Federica Valabrega

It was cold, not doubt. It was scary crowded and claustrophobic, of course, but it was more than worth it!

"Who voted for him?" by Federica Valabrega

"America Voted for Change" by Federica Valabrega

It was a gift. A gift shared with so many wonderful people who I can’t call con-national, but I consider “as one people, one nation” with a common dream to mine–a humbleness to face the obstacles the future will bring and overcome them with the same determination showed today.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Obama was there, but so was I and 2 million people

  1. stefano says:

    brava, bellissimo

  2. lizzie says:

    brava brava brava

  3. kktucks says:

    well said! thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective — as a previleged one who was able to attend the inauguration. for those like me who were not able to attend, we will have to live that amazing and indescribable experience through the words written and pictures taken by people like you. thanks.

  4. Aqib says:

    First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    —————————-
    #1 Top Search Engine – Google

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