As an eight year old, Election Day enthralled me so much I couldn’t go to bed. The front room couch eventually called my name, but that didn’t stop me from waking up every hour or so to see how the polls were doing, long after the house was silent. The numbers captivated my attention. Knowing me, I probably wrote all the stats down somewhere. I was (am?) weird like that. I saw the final moments before we knew who our new president was going to be. The unofficial declaration of the winner of the race. The overwhelming feeling of so much happening in such a short amount of time.
I remember what happened months after that election, when I saw an inauguration for the first time. I knew that I was watching an historic event. I realized what it meant to be an American. To stand united. To be a part in something bigger than myself. To support our leaders, whoever we–as a country–choose them to be. True it would be another decade before I could participate with my own check mark, but that didn’t matter. I knew the decisions of others had a large impact on me then.
Years later I cannot help but feel that same pull to the polls. I still remember my duty as an American citizen. I voted. As a history student I know too much of the consequences of indifference to avoid casting a ballot.
If you have not voted, please do. We need every opinion. They held my voting station in a library of a nearby elementary school. “How appropriate,” I thought as I saw the pictures of the presidents hanging in a row. While it was not the school I went to as a child, it reminded me of what I know. It reminded me of how I will behave regardless of the outcome. After all we pledge that we are one nation, under God, which means that we can also stand indivisible as the United States of America.
The only way to do that though is to stand, and–in today’s case–vote.