Over 200,000 Barack Obama supporters gathered in Chicago’s 319 acre Grant Park late Tuesday and early Wednesday to celebrate the election of America’s first African American president. What many are not aware of, they were literally standing on historic ground. Obama took the Democratic Party by storm; something not many Americans would have thought possible a generation ago. His election was celebrated across the nation. From family homes and college campuses to Grant Park.
“It takes an amazing person to motivate an entire country like Obama did,” said Majorie Issaacs, a junior at Piedmont High School. “ His charisma was what drew my attention in the first place.”
Issacs was lucky enough to become an active part of Obama’s party due to her parents, Susan and John Issacs who were part of the National Financial Committee.
17-year-old Issacs was able to take part in numerous historical events. This past August, she was able to see Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention and at Grant Park in Chicago on election night.
“We arrived the morning of election day,” said Issacs. ” The atmosphere was so tense and excited!”
As polls had begun to close and states were being called, Issacs was able to be right in the midst of the crowd feeling the energy. The NFC had a large tent and a fenced off area directly in front of where Obama would make his speech. The crowd was a comradery of Obama supporters celebrating a historic moment together.
“Everyone was packed together,” said Issacs. “I got separated from my family but it didn’t even matter because everyone was best friends. The woman next to me had her arm around me, and everyone was talking and just enjoying the moment.”
There had been tears all evening as one key state after another was called; first Pennsylvania, then Ohio turning the hope of victory into certainty. As Barack Obama emerged onto the stage at Grant Park, it was the sight of the first African American man who will be further called Mr. President which made reality sink in.
“When they announced Obama’s win at 8 p.m. we all went crazy” said Issacs. “I don’t know anyone whose face wasn’t stained with tears. Some people were in shock and silent and others were screaming or sobbing. The relief and happiness that came over the crowd was literally palpable, you could feel everyone’s happiness.”
Obama’s election was celebrated around the world. He had captivated his supporters in such a way that has not been seen since Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. Obama had drawn the line from the past eight years and marked his path for his presidency.
“I have never felt that way before,” Issacs said. “Everyone was so united for one cause and so invested in it.”