The Commonwealth Comment

Thursday, January 29, 2009

America, The Beautiful

Last week I saw America.

The 6:40AM train took me from the luxury brownstones of Boston to the run down, boarded up duplexes of Baltimore. I must say I was surprised and even saddened to see people in the United States living in these conditions. Yet, after 4 days at my destination (Washington, DC) my hope and faith in my country was restored.

I traveled to the nation's capital with a group of Emerson journalism students to cover the Inauguration of Barack Obama. We all bonded through the long hours and freezing cold temperatures on the streets of DC with little food and even less sleep.

I stood on the National Mall on the frigid Inaugural morning by the Washington Monument with my 2 friends and colleagues Ryan and Valeria. We were joined by another 2 million people who had come from miles around and from all walks of life to witness history in person. Everyone shared in the same hopeful spirit of the day. We all knew things were going to be better, that change had indeed come to America.

The crowds were peaceful. Over 2 million people had flooded the city and there was not a single arrest! How remarkable to think that a nation focused on a common goal can achieve such a feat. This is what I see in America's future: I see cooperation between different people striving to help one another succeed. I see average citizens setting their political differences aside to help move America forward. I can only hope our political leaders can put aside childish things and see the renewed optimism and hope the American people still hold for their country.

On my way home to Boston on the 7:25AM train (which is another story in and of itself) I felt better knowing that I had truly seen America that week.

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage." - President Barack Obama



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