Shoot, this made me cry.
For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn’t in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president.
When you think about everything that woman’s seen–90 years of history in a country only 230 years old–it’s pretty amazing. That woman’s grandparents were born into slavery. She knew people who were born enslaved and she’s lived long enough to vote for an African-American president.
I just can’t help it. I’m a sucker for these songs of freedom.