Twelve hours after we learned the world-changing news, I'm still struggling to find the words to express my profound, complex, almost delirious joy.
We have elected a president named Barack Hussein Obama. A president who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia. A president who doesn't just pay lip service to the U.S. Constitution but who actually taught constitutional law. A president whose father was a black African, and whose skin color would, in the shamefully near past, have prevented him from drinking from certain water fountains in certain parts of these United States.
Later today I hope to gather some of the comments that swirled through my Twitter stream last night: a wonderful, polyphonic chorus from all over the country and the world. Right now, though, I hope you'll indulge me one small, personal anecdote:
My nephew was born on the morning of September 11, 2001: the very best news I received on that very worst of days. During all seven years of Joshua's life, George W. Bush has been president of the United States. For millions of us grown-ups, those years have been dark ones filled with anger and despair. But Joshua has been too young for politics. I doubt he'll have many direct memories of the Bush Administration. Instead, he is entering his age of reason in our own new Age of Reason. He will grow up as part of the Obama Generation.
And that thought fills me with confidence, happiness, and hope.
The torch has indeed been passed.