Wow! At 1000,000 strong, yesterday’s rally was a historical event that I am proud to have been part of! I volunteered for the security detail getting people through the metal detectors. I was fortunate to have a birds eye view watching and welcoming people entering through the only public entrance to the venue at Civic Center Park. The diversity of those entering matches the diversity of our City, State, and Nation. I welcomed babies as young as 3 weeks, and seniors that I am sure were in their 90s. I saw black, white, American Indians and Eastern Indians. I welcomed families, gay and straight, holding their kids’ hands, carrying them on their backs or stomachs, or pushing them in their strollers. I even met an entire family from Kenya (where Barack’s Father was from), who were as proud as they could and should be. I saw attendees helping those with canes or crutches, and carrying those in wheelchairs, down the stairs at the Greek Theater where all public attendees entered.
For 3 hours, from 9am to Noon, as they streamed through the gate, the best way I can describe the overall mood is “joyful”. Clearly, everyone was happy to be there. While many said they had waited in line for 2 hours or more, not a single person complained about it. People said they simply didn’t mind waiting in line that long. Many said they it was “enjoyable”, and that they met a lot of nice people. I couldn’t agree with them more.
As Senator Obama began to speak, the gates were closed, and we were released to go into the venue and listen to his speech. I say “listen” because we had about 50,000 [people in front of us, and another 50,000-plus behind us. The only was I “saw” him was to look through my telephoto lense on my camera (smile). But I’m not complaining either. It was more than enough to hear the clear and inspirational words of the next President of the United States. And as good as that was, it was absolutely breathtaking simply to look around me and see the ocean of cheering, clapping, flag and sign-waving people in front of the City and County Building, to the sides, and running all the way back and up to the top steps of the State Capitol. What I saw all around me was America--joyful, and at peace in the knowledge, or at least in the hope, that this extraordinary man would be the one to unite us, and to lead us through the great challenges before us, and into what surely will be a brighter future.