Inauguration Day @ Miami Dade College, North Campus
Although there were many gathering spots on the campus, including the Breezeway and selected classrooms, I chose to go to the Lehman Theater because I knew several of my friends would be there. Sure enough, Josett Peat, Patti Harris, and Elaine Perez-Mirabal were there in the overflow crowd of the theater.
We filed in early and took our seats. The audience was largely upbeat as they listened to Councilman Andre Williams from Miami Gardens explain the significance of the event. Then, we watched the video feed with the flow of dignitaries of the screen, and the youthful energy became evident in hoots and jibes whenever the image of President George W. Bush flashed across the screen.The time had come: The swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. It was as if we were all collectively holding our breath. The campus was quiet. I don’t think in the 30+ years that I’ve been at the college, it has ever been that quiet.
Mr. Obama seemed confident as he stepped up take the oath of office and when he stumbled over a few words, one young lady exclaimed protectively: “He’s only human.” That stopped a few nervous giggles and the cleaning ladies nodded approvingly.I stayed to listen to Elizabeth Alexander’s poem and the benediction by Dr. Joseph Lowery. As we strolled across the campus to our respective offices, Josett, Elaine, and I could hear some of our co-workers sighing: “The nightmare is over. Now the work begins.” And then Josett whispered a sentiment that has seemed to echo across the country, “I wish some of my friends could have been here to see this day.”
We all wish, Josett. We all wish