The following is an excerpt from "Obama", by Olivia Hayes. Read it here: http://linguisticallysmitten.blogspot.com/2008/11/obama.html
On election night, we all piled into the center of downtown Durham. It was rainy and muddy, so we hid out in The Pinhook for a while, drinking beer out of plastic cups and checking our Blackberries and iPhones for updates. Anna managed to find an Obama volunteer from San Francisco who we chattered with the whole evening, pondering the possibility of North Carolina going blue. And at a certain point, the crowd outside got louder, watching a live feed on a giant inflatable screen.
We moved outside, boots sinking into the municipal mud just in time to see CNN declare that the McCain campaign didn't see a path to victory. By the time they announced Obama the winner, we were arm and arm under the misting rain, dancing, hugging, laughing, cheeringTears were shed, strangers were hugged, and the country had begun stitching up the wounds, inking tentative treaties with hand shakes.
I watched Obama's speech wrapped in the arms of one of my best friends, a tear slipping down my cheek when he repeated his famous mantra. It broke the fever of discontent and cynicism incubated in the ranks of my generation for the past eight years. And that night was the first night that we could say, without rancor, without irony, that we were proud to be Americans.