In November of 1992 I was in the living room of my director's apartment. It was fall quarter of my freshman year at college, and the cast and crew of the show I was stage managing had finished rehearsing early so that we could gather together at the apartment for libations and to watch the results of the election. I was a Michigan resident going to school outside of Chicago, so I had cast my first ever vote by absentee ballot. I was thrilled when my candidate, Bill Clinton, won. I remember singing along to the music as he left(or was it took?) the stage. "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow...."
Today as I waited in line to vote (with one of the two - and it should have been three - booths for my precinct broken) a woman in front of me in line couldn't remember the first presidential election she voted in. She had to think back at the dates of the elections, and figured she must have cast her first vote for "George Herbert." She was thinking about it because the volunteers running the polls cheered every time a first time voter signed the rolls. I was amazed that she couldn't remember.
I doubt those new voters will forget this first election. I hope they don't. Because whether they voted for Obama or not (and where I live it is most likely they did not), they were part of history. History that goes far beyond the kind of history that every presidential election is made of.
Tonight we were playing bridge with my in laws when both The Big Guy and I received text messages from a McCain voting friend of ours. "Congrats, guys!" Soon after CNN called it for Obama. And later we sat in our own living room and I watched, with tears in my eyes, as Obama spoke to our nation. And I felt, again, proud to be part of the process. And proud to be an American.