Last night, my wife and I went out to vote, and then we went to what had been billed as a Democratic celebration event. We were literally one of the first people to arrive, not including the press, since we voted just down the street from the hotel, and we had a decision to make: go back home, or stay and wait around.

We decided to wait, because we had a feeling what was coming. After about 10 minutes we went and sat in the ballroom, and we waited for people to come. And people came, people of all colors and ages, all heights and sizes, disabled and abled bodied people. I can honestly say I’ve never been a part of anything like this in my life, and it was a fluke that we were there.

I want to make this disclaimer right now. I am not a registered democrat; I am only registered to vote, not affiliated with any party. And though I knew who I was going to vote for, it wasn’t until this past week when I finally started getting any passion towards this election year, after watching this video. To me, it was time to show the loyalties, to bond with other people, and to show some balance in some of the irrational things I’d been reading and hearing, yet staying silent about.

So there we were, suddenly surrounded by people, many people whom we ended up knowing, shocked at some of the people who were there and elated at the same time. A large screen was in one corner, and all of us watched CNN as they went on, hour by hour, ticking off which states Senators Obama and McCain were winning or losing. Now, I’m not Kreskin, but I sometimes have a nice gift for prognostication, and I’d told my wife earlier in the day that by 11PM we should know who the president of the United States was. I’m not sure how I came by that, especially seeing what had happened the past few elections, but I had a feeling.

At right at 11PM, on the dot, CNN flashed this across the screen: “Barack Obama Elected President“. Stunned, proud, happy,… I cheered, as did the entire crowd. People were crying and hugging and screaming. After my first cheer I just looked around the room at the emotions that were flowing everywhere. I thought about how much I would have missed if I’d stuck with my first thought and sat at home watching it. I thought about how my dad would have enjoyed this moment. I went outside, called my mother, who was awake and watching it herself, and she said she couldn’t remember such a proud moment.

Now, talk about having one’s hand on the pulse of America. The first song that was played on TV is one that I actually used as a motivational moment back in June; stunned once again. Where we were, the first song that was played after awhile was Ray Charles’ America The Beautiful. I was also ahead of the curve because on CNN they had someone, I can’t recall who right now, reading the last lines from Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech, which has always been at the top of my list. That made me feel good also.

I know that this race was supposed to be about change, but it was about so many changes that one can pick and choose which one they believed was the strongest one. In my mind, there is no other song that captured the moment more than A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke: