To Washington for Inauguration 09

by Emon Hassan on January 26, 2009

I was half-joking about this trip to a friend that from January 21, 2009 on there will be two kinds of people – those who were there, and those who weren’t. The Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama is not the biggest event in history and I don’t claim so. However, it is a door that was flung open and showed the rest of us that, to use the oft chanted, ‘Yes We Can.’

It’s been a week since I’d traveled to DC for this event. I had been planning this since the night of election, sitting at home hoping to speak to someone, wanting to scream at the top of my lungs, and wishing I was there at Grant Park, Chicago. Like many I had cried. Like many I wondered where all those tears came from. Like many…I knew that my life going forward wouldn’t be the same.

Remember Obama’s Iowa speech that started with ‘They said this day would never come…‘? Many had pondered who he had meant by ‘they.’ If they have to wonder, they’ll never know. ‘They’ are those who laugh at you when you’re a dreamer. And ‘they’ would do anything to see you bury your dreams. ‘They’ are around you and I as a person, group, corporation, or society. ‘They’ look at you but don’t see you. They listen to you but don’t hear you. ‘They’ talk to you but say nothing to inspire or encourage. You realize that every milestone passed by Obama since that speech could’ve been opened with that line? In the end, though, ‘they’ failed to stop him.

For those of us who have many of life’s misfortunes in our starter kit find the rules of proper upbringing quite humorous. To dream big and to achieve big you need to be named such, you need to look like such, you need to school yourself in such manner, and you need to conform to ideals no matter how foreign they seem to your natural ones. Most of us give up our dreams and give in to those ideals. Most of us are taught what’s right and what’s wrong but no one points out which belongs to whom. I know, it confuses me too. There’s no such thing as the right way to do right. You should never accept being left out for being right. You should never be persuaded to put off dreaming and seduced into their reality. ‘They’ don’t tell you what to do.

Barack Obama is not just the President of the USA. Barack Obama is the shovel that dug up, dusted off, and delivered your long lost lost dreams. You know it has come back to you. You know you can too, like he did. ‘They’ will never tell you this day would never come when you’re already there. You, even I, need to stop blaming others for our struggle and obstacles and make the best of what we can offer.

I guess I cried because I waited all those years for someone to show me that ‘they’ can no longer take my name, my race, and my religion to blindfold me like a racehorse. I guess the tears came to wash those dreams again and embark on a journey to better myself first and then help others realize their dreams. We each have our own dreams to fulfill. I know we’ve waited a long time. I know we’ve wasted a lot of time. Change is hard, change is might. But change is absolutely, positively contagious!

How could I’ve not gone to DC where all my brothers and sisters got together and stood as one? How could I’ve not gone and represented all those who wanted to but could not be there?

[Day Two Photos]

Other options: See slideshow on black. Or. Visit set on Flickr.

Also check out Kaitlin’s set from the same day/night. I do appear on couple of shots there.

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