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Living through history


That's what we all witnessed in America last week when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama became the first African-American to win the presidency of the United States.

At 47, Sen. Obama, whom I supported with my vote, because I thought, and still do, that he can deliver what he has promised, becomes the fourth youngest president-elect in our nation's history.

Though I've covered a lot of important elections in my newspaper career, I've never had the pleasure of covering one with such historical significance.

As I was observing returns being posted at the McDuffie County Elections Central Office in Thomson on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, I couldn't help but glance at the television that was close by. The channel was set to WJBF News Channel 6 in Augusta - an ABC News affiliate - who kept us abreast of the presidential race.

Because I am a reporter, I couldn't show any emotion nor could I reflect on it in any manner in my news coverage. I had to remain unbiased and as objective as I could for the integrity of my chosen field.

In the back of my mind, I was taking it all in, though - the historical significance of it all and what it might mean to our country. It also dawned on me to reflect on what it just might mean to race relations in America.

I've never thought race or gender should play a role in whether someone is elected to a political office or not. I can't even began to imagine not voting for a person simply because of the color of their skin or because they are a woman and not a man.

That's ridiculous!

I'm delighted that Americans were able to freely decide on who they believe the best person might be to serve all of us as our next president. Sen. Obama turned out to be that man.

Just two years ago when Sen. Obama announced that he was running on the Democratic ticket, few political observers really gave him much of a chance. The biggest reason: Money.

As Sen. Obama continued to march forward in his quest to become the next president, his message caught the attention of more and more Americans. And soon his grassroots campaign had taken a firm place in the American political landscape. He rapidly became one of the front-runners.

He later defeated Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain to become president-elect. On Monday of this week, Sen. Obama and his wife, Michelle, who soon will become our nation's First Lady, were welcomed to the White House by President and Mrs. Bush.

I hope and pray that President-elect Obama will become one of the greatest leaders that our country has ever elected! I believe he's a good man and sincerely has our country's problems close to his heart. And whether you voted for him or not, we should all give him the courtesy of at least giving him a chance to straighten out our economic mess and other major concerns such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Web posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008

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