Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coming Together

Reading through thousands of stories submitted to An American Moment, a popular theme that emerges is that people, like Peggy in Findlay, OH, felt a “connection to something larger and better” during the election.

For Peggy, “The time I felt the happiest was when I registered a 65 year old woman who had never voted before:)”

When Richard in Glendale, CA phone banked on Election Day, he spoke to “an elderly lady in Ohio who told me that she had just had a mastectomy and her husband had a terminal illness,” he said.

“She asked if she could get some help. I was able to find a way for her to get a ride… and help her and her husband vote without having to leave the car,” he said. “It made me feel great to know that I was able to help.”

For many people, the connections they made were even more intimate – with neighbors who used to be strangers. Marcia in Caldwell, NJ says she lives in a high-rise apartment building “where people tend to remain rather private.” She had never really had a conversation with her neighbors – until the couple next door noticed her Obama button.

“We exchanged high-fives and I invited them to come to Obama headquarters to volunteer to make phone calls. On election night we watched the returns together and cried and celebrated with champagne! What a wonderful unifying experience!!”

Perhaps most exciting, people who didn’t even vote for President-elect Obama are telling us that they feel the same sense of unity. Denise in Washington, MI writes:

“The morning after the election my son said, ‘Mom, why are you so happy? Your guy lost.’ I said because we can move forward now. Congratulations to you, President-elect Obama! Now I pray at night that you will protect all Americans… You did a good job, so keep up the good work and let’s please fix what’s wrong.”

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