While in Denver, I'd heard a rumor the day before the anticipated speech that a line would begin forming at Invesco Field at approximately 10am. Pursuant the tickets, gates would open at 1pm with the event starting at 3pm. The Democratic Presidential Nominee, Barack Obama, would take the stage at 8pm. I knew instantly, that there was no way I could sit out there that long.
I arrived at Invesco Field minutes before Stevie Wonder took the stage which was about 5:30pm. I had taken my time roaming the 16th Street Mall, eating and picking up souvenirs. Fortunately, when I arrived there were no tremendous lines. The stadium was packed. As I approaching my section, I was given a flag and sat down. Later, signs with ‘CHANGE’ also included the Obama campaign website were distributed.
The crowd was incredible. There was an indescribable love in the air which I felt on the streets of Denver earlier in the day. People had a general respect for one another. During those hours in the stadium and into the next day, everyone present was on a natural high. This being the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, for once in my life, I felt that his dream had been fulfilled. It appeared that people saw people and not the color of their skin. For a moment, the crowd began chanting ‘Si Se Puedes.’ The lady next to me asked, what are they saying? I replied ‘Yes We Can’ in Spanish. With that, she began to chant too. I smiled because I realized that this is what his dream was all about.
As I sat there, I also remembered that August 28th was the date of the assassination of Emmitt Till. He was just 14 years old when he was killed because he whistled at a white woman. After his mother decided on an open casket which revealed her son's mangled body, his death in 1955 catapulted the civil rights movement. That incident started a chain of events which eventually evolved into the August 28, 1963 March on Washington.
While Barack Obama was outlining his platform and how he actually plans to bring change to the White House, for many, he brought back memories of a time gone and hope for the future of this country. At that moment in time, on August 28, 2008, he embodied the past and the future of America.
"We cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done... At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future." - Senator Barack Obama, August 28, 2008