America elected a new president, and the world turned a page.
Around 11 o’clock this morning Hong Kong time, CNN declared Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States. On the news networks’ website, I read the words I had waited for for two years: Obama, first African American President. Right there on my computer screen, I saw proof that whatever made America the greatest nation in the world was still there.
During lunch time, I rushed to the trading floor and pulled up a chair in front of the flat screen TV to watch the president-elect deliver his 15-minute victory speech. His words got me all choked up in front of my colleagues. After that I went to the bakery downstairs and bought everyone in the department cupcakes to celebrate the occasion.
The rest of the day was less eventful, but it still felt like Christmas Day. My steps were light but my heart was even lighter. There were moments in the day when I forgot why I was in such a good mood. Then it would all come rushing back to me: oh yes, Obama won. And I would smile from ear to ear, like a boy who just got his first kiss. Then my mind would start to wander. I would image what it must be like standing at JFK’s inaugural parade 47 years ago watching the young president wave to the adoring crowds. I would image the sense of vindication that the African American community must be feeling right now, today, at this very moment. I would get myself choked up all over again.