On September 11th, 2001 ... halfway through my ninth grade English class ... I witnessed history unfold as terrorists flew two airplanes into the World Trade Center in downtown New York City. As I watched the news reports, I knew I was living through a moment that my children and grand-children and great-grand-children would someday read about in history books. It was a historical moment provoked by hate, resentment and evil. It was a moment that represented all that is wrong in our world. It was a moment I would have preferred to have skipped; one I wish I didn't have to remember. It was a moment that I wish had never happened.
Today, on January 20th, 2009 ... as I watched Barack Obama take the oath of office and become the 44th President of the United States of America ... I once again knew that I was living through a moment that would grace the pages of my children's history books. This time, however, it was a moment brought about by determination, integrity and righteousness. A moment millions of people throughout the generations had dreamed of being able to witness. A moment that represented the audacity of the human spirit, the strength of brotherhood, the power of being able to forgive and move forward together as a nation. It was a moment I was proud to have been a tiny part of.
For me, Barack Obama's victory is not a political one ... only time will tell whether he succeeds as President. I believe that what I witnessed today was a triumph in the battle of civil rights that has plagued America for centuries. And, politics aside, that is a moment worth celebrating.