My Journey to See President Barack Obama
I was one of millions of people that watched the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. As I watched the convention and the many powerful speeches, the one I anticipated the most was from our President Barack Obama. President Obama is always guaranteed to deliver a moving speech. As I watched him speak the last night of the convention, I was so envious of the people that were fortunate enough to be able to be there in person to listen to the President speak. I thought what an honor it would be to see Barack Obama, a sitting President, speak in person, but I knew my chances of ever having the opportunity to see President Obama speak was very slim. Most people that do have the opportunity either have inside connections to get tickets or they pay thousands of dollars donating to his campaign, and I had neither of those options. The night before the President’s speech at the convention, our local news had a small spot mentioning that President Obama would be visiting our small town in a few days to give a speech. The tickets to his speech would be free to the public. The next day we stood in line for an hour and a half to get the tickets. I couldn’t believe that I was just wishing I would have the opportunity to see the President speak in person, and now it has become a reality.
The day had arrived for my journey to see President Obama. The excitement was building inside of me as every hour drew near. We arrived two hours before the doors were scheduled to open. As I walked up to the venue for the event, I noticed hundreds of people that were already in line waiting to get in to see the President. It was a scorching hot, sunny day with temperatures around 90 degrees. I took my place in the long line and began the long anticipated wait to see the President. There was not a lot of shade in the line so we were all standing in the hot sun, fanning ourselves and catching the shade under a tree as the line moved at a snail’s pace. As the hours passed I looked at all of the people in that line. There were thousands of people slowly arriving, and what struck me the most was the diversity in this long line. There were people from every walk of life, White, Black, Hispanic, and every nationality you could imagine. I made many new friends while standing in that line. Everyone was just as excited as I was to be able to have the honor to hold the tickets to see the President of our country. We stood in that line for about three hours in that hot sun, and were finally about to enter the venue. The security was very tight, as you would expect, but no different than the security measures you would find at the airport. By the time I got into the venue, I was drenched in sweat from head to toe. You were not allowed to bring water or snacks into the venue, although Obama volunteers passed out bottles of water as we stood in the line all of those hours. We finally were able to sit down in a cool air conditioned place. After entering and taking my seat, my eyes fixated immediately at the podium where President Obama would be speaking in a few short minutes. The crowd was so excited in anticipation for the President to come out. We listened to our local Senator speak and some of our local politicians as we anxiously waited for the man of the hour.
When President Obama was introduced, the crowd went wild. He came bouncing out, with that million dollar smile and the room exploded with excitement. I had my camera and took lots of pictures during his speech. His speech was his normal campaign speech, mentioning most of the points he talked about in his speech at the convention in Charlotte. For me, I was in such awe to be in the same room with the President. When you see President Obama speak in person, you get a sense of a man that is very comfortable talking to the average American person. He makes you feel that he understands the problems you are facing, and he will do everything in his power to fulfill his promises, and try to help you to reach your goals to achieve the American dream. He spoke for about forty-five minutes, and took time after his speech to shake hands and take pictures with people. When he waved his last good-bye, I felt like I was just a part of something so special that not everyone will ever experience.
I felt the need to share my journey see the President for all of those that may never get this opportunity. For me, this experience was not so much about Democrats and Republicans, but the honor to be able to see a sitting President live and in person. To look around the room and see that this President is not the divider that some are making him out to be. How can that be possible when I made so many friends in that line from many different nationalities? When you looked around that venue, on that day, it reflected America. This was the America that I wish we could experience every day in our lives. For that moment in time, it was the America that showed no signs of division and everyone caring about their fellow man. In that long, hot, line people were not angry or mean. They were just people fanning other people they didn’t know. Some were holding umbrellas over the elderly and disabled in the crowd, and there was lots of laughter and fun.
Although I went through blazing heat and many hours on my feet standing in that line, it was so worth it for the honor to see my President, Barack Obama, speak to me and thousands of others. To share that day with all of my new and old friends is an experience I will never forget and will cherish that moment in time forever.