From Farai

Brazile Looks Ahead To Obama Inauguration Celebration

Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist, is also a political contributor for CNN. E. Pio Roda/Courtesy of CNN hide caption

itoggle caption E. Pio Roda/Courtesy of CNN

Our contributor, Donna Brazile, has a moving piece on CNN.com today about why the upcoming inauguration is such a big deal to so many people. I just wanted to share. Here are some excerpts:

Is it just me or has everyone living within a 120-mile radius of the U.S. Capitol Building heard from his or her fifth cousin lately?

Lord knows I have. I even had someone who shares my last name contact me, wondering if we were kin.

Relatives, friends, casual acquaintances and complete strangers are suddenly ablaze with desire to connect with Washington area residents: They are all planning to descend on the nation's capital for the inauguration ceremonies of the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama.

There is one hitch, though. They don't have tickets. And, oh by the way, they hint ever so delicately, there are absolutely no hotel rooms available.

After all, for tens of millions of Americans, the Obama presidency is the most important historic event in our lifetime.

For both those who never knew what it was to live through segregation and those who had to drink at separate water fountains, this is the moment to proclaim freedom and love of country. And every single one of them wants to either participate in it or give witness to its rebirth in 2009.

People aren't just fired up and ready to celebrate Obama's inauguration. In what will be a perfect storm of jubilation and celebration, 2009 is the year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the NAACP, and the 80th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King's birth.

A sister of one of my best friends from elementary school e-mailed to tell me that she's bringing three busloads of people from my hometown of New Orleans. Three busloads of folks from my hometown who love the Mardi Gras — during good and bad times. I told them to come on and we'll see what's cooking on the stove.

Months ago, I thought some new boots would be a nice gift for myself for the holidays, but now all I want for Christmas are gigantic cases of toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water for the sundry assortment of Braziles trying to make reservations to stay with me.

I've even rewritten my letter to Santa, asking him to send a half dozen air mattresses to accommodate what my Capitol Hill home will transform into come the weekend of January 16 — a dormitory.

— Donna Brazile

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