Tonight I slogged through a 3 hour wait to hear Barack Obama address the crowd gathered in support of him on Independence Mall. The highlights were the lead singers of the bands "Live" and "The Black Eyed Peas" singing some acoustic warmups, Barack speaking, watching the Secret Service guys patrol the rooftops of the surrounding buildings, and the girl in front of me who was so bored waiting before things got started that she began trimming the sod with a pair of scissors:
Low lights included the long wait, the tiny pixel that was what I could see of Barack from across the mall, and the self-congratulatory moment when some crowd-numbing volunteers introduced themselves.
It was, however, quite amazing to hear the iconic, racially transcendent figure of Obama as his voice boomed out across the grassy mall, echoing off the supremely iconic Independence Hall, resonating with the spirits of Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams. While Obama seemed tired and a little flat, he still managed to inspire the crowd and rekindle some of the Hope that has been drained lately from his campaign.
Among the lines he's patented into his stump speech (Are you fired up? Ready to go?), Obama did speak about declaring independence from the tyranny of the past 8 years, the social injustices, the disregard for our environment, the needless war, the unfair advantage given to the rich, and the burdens created for the middle class. All very general themes, but well-spoken as usual.
I left the periphery of the rally by walking past the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and then on through Washington Square Park. I stopped by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, who symbolically represents the thousands of revolutionary war soldiers who are buried within the park in unmarked graves beneath running puppies and Sycamore trees. Above the tomb and always-lit torch is a statue of Washington himself and an inscription which reads: "FREEDOM IS A LIGHT FOR WHICH MANY MEN HAVE DIED IN DARKNESS."
And that's why I'll still vote for Obama.