Today, President-Elect Barack Obama came to Baltimore. I ended up watching him on TV, with my family. We had planned to go to the War Memorial and be part of the crowd, but it didn't work out. The temperature when we got up was 5 degrees. My husband woke up with a sinus headache. Our bathroom pipes (just the 2nd floor bathroom) were frozen, and took until noon to thaw, with us running a slow trickle from the faucet from 8am until noon. And, due to a growth spurt, our son has almost no cold weather gear. No boots, no real shoes, just Vans at the moment.
So we watched from our living room. And it was moving. It meant so much to this town. Baltimore gets very little respect. We are known by what people watched on The Wire, or on Homicide. More famous for the Stop Snitching video than for our universities. That Obama stopped here was huge. I hope it inspires people. He spoke of change, and how it starts with each of us as individuals. Maybe that message will sink in, and the city will solve it's own problems -- one person at a time.
It was also wonderful to see us pull together such a large scale event on such short notice. With no hitches. Nobody died. There weren't riots or fights. Just people happily celebrating together.
And that really seems to be the Obama message, at its core. People together. Not separated by our differences, but brought together by all we share.