Liz Wilson's Letters - Obama xpress
Lessons Learned on January 21,2009
1. Students never sleep. They certainly have a great desire to see change and they were there in Washington by the thousands.
2. We froze together but we helped each other. Old and young, black, white,Muslems, Christians and Jews.
3. We stood in long lines for hours from 4am until 8 or 9am and although some of us were really frustrated and cold,as well as hungry, we sang, danced and persevered. We shared gloves, food, tickets and a great admiration for our new President, Barack Obama.
4. We all learned that we are stronger, more diverse, yet more alike than we knew. There were 3 milllion of us in an area smaller than a country town, however there were no chaotic scenes where we trampled each other.
5. We overwhelmed the subway system, the few resturants that were opened, but we didn't hurt each other or have fights. Holiday Inn Capitol opened so we could eat and we did so appreciate it. The Native American Museum opened and gave us hot chocolate and a big screen to watch our new President Barak Obama take his oath. We laughed and cried and cheered our President and most of us had never met. We did not even know who we we were hugging. we just felt such joy on this day, January 21, 2009.
6. We learned we are Americans, no matter what we look like or what we believe. President Obama told us things would be difficult but we would overcome any obstacles if we work together and use our unique skills and talents. Three million of his loyal followers did that on yesterday.
7. President Obama said it would take all of us to overcome our problems and we know that is true. It took complete strangers with acts of kindness that allowed me to have a silver ticket to get closer to the action. It took buses, planes and cars full of people from all over the country to come together and show the world, "we can get along" if we try.
8. It wasn't perfect for us but we didn't give up. We had a bus with students, teacher, and citizens of all backgrounds that left Columbia, Missouri at 8 pm on Sunday and arrived in Richmond, Virginia at 4 pm on Monday. Some of us went to bed and other stayed up all night, but we were all up at 2 am to get back on the bus and go catch the subway to D.C. We did with millions of others in the cold and dark of the night we lined up to catch a glimpse of "our President" at "our" inaugraration.
9. President Obama reminded us that "We the people" have some work to do. A great teacher always uses "teachable moments" to instruct his students. He gave us our assignment and vowed to lead us to restore our democracy, because it will take all of us working together to deal with two wars, economic failures as well as violations of our own constitution. "Yes we can" is our lesson taught and learned.
10. We had a group ranging in age from 12-66 and we took a trip that brought us "face to face" with history and obstacles we had to face and we did it with tolerance. We didn't always agree on the music or whether we should watch a video or go to sleep, but we were nice to each other. This is the lesson we Americans must demonstrate we know. We did a great demonstration of that on Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.
P.S. I am still awake and functioning, sort of as we are almost home in about five hours. Thanks to Dr. Digby and my staff for allowing me to be on on "Obama Xpress" and help make history. Liz Wilson, Road Scholar