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Due to our proximity to the US, being from Canada allows us to closely follow what happens with our neighbors to the south. All of the hoopla and hype of the US we hear. From how great the US is about this and how great the US is about that. Nothing against the US, but frankly I am happy to be Canadian. I think that Canada is the greatest nation on the planet. Aesthetically it's beautiful, our people and culture are diverse and we still look after the old, the less fortunate and the sick as best as we can.
Having said that, Tuesday, November 4th was a great day for the United States. Like many Canadians I watched with eager anticipation to see how the US election would play out. I actually wished that I could have voted and for the first time ever wished, even if for a moment, that I was a citizen of the United States of America. I was flipping channels to see which network had the best coverage but ultimately spent the majority of time on CNN and CNBC. The coverage was tremendous. The technology used by CNN was fascinating. A life-size hologram of Will.i.am was amazing.
As elated supporters of Barack Obama took to the streets of cities across the United States and the globe to celebrate Mr. Obama's presidential win, I wish there with them. The image from CNN above says it all. I was a part of history. I am proud of the citizens of the United States who have voted to have an African American as President. Congratulations to the people of the United States. You have already redeemed yourself in the eyes of many. Mr. Obama has a tough road ahead of him. He will need patience from the people of the United States. It will get worse before it gets better. However Barack Obama being elected as President of the United States is just what the country needed.
As I watched the progression of yesterday's events, I too had a tear in my eye. You could see the sense of relief on the faces of many in the crowds. You could feel the weight being lifted off of their shoulders. From images of Reverend Jessie Jackson as tears fell down his face to a young white male standing motionless in the crowd at Chicago holding a flag of the United States with a picture of Barack Obama in the center of it, to the streets of New York where an African American women was so emotional she felt to her knees overjoyed. I get choked up just thinking of these images as I type this post. History was made yesterday. I remember where I was when the people of the United States of America elected the 44th president of their country.
Something that should not be overlooked was how gracious John McCain was in defeat. He was professional, courteous and charming as he conceded defeat at his native state of Arizona.
While Mr. Obama's decisions may not always be the right ones as they pertain to my country of Canada. I can respect his desire to improve the United States and to make the world a better place. The US is a much better country than it was two days ago. I have not ever expressed interest in meeting an American President before. I do hope that in some point in my life I can meet Barack Obama and shake his hand. I wish that I was one of the 125,000 people who jammed in Grant Park in Chicago to witness Mr. Obama emerge as the new President-elect.
“Young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans have sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of red states and blue states,” he said. “We have been and always will be the United States of America.