Today, February 19th, 2009, is one of those times that will
go down in history.
Barack Obama, the first Afro-American President of the United
States met the first Afro-Canadian Head of State, Michaëlle
Yes, he went on to meet with the Prime Minister and the
Opposition Leader, but the coming together of Obama and Jean was
an historical moment in North America.
Each of them came from humble beginnings; each of them came from
African roots; each of them came from a multi-cultural
background and each is a 'child of the world'.
They walked together from the President's plane, Airforce 1,
laughing and animated in each other's company. The leader of the
foremost world power and the elegant head-of-state of one of the
oldest former commonwealth countries in the world.
Obama, with his illuminating smile and totally relaxed manner,
brought to the stuffiness of the British-style atmosphere of
Ottawa, a new effervescence that transcended party.
Young, old and in-between, the people stood for hours in the
traditional bitter cold of a wintry February day to catch a mere
glimpse of the man who has brought hope to the world. Despite
intensive security measures, the President showed the absolute
class of a world leader. He realized and appreciated the people
who had waited in the cold and took the time to greet them.
20/02/2009 12:13 AM
Throughout the day, as individuals were interviewed by
the media, a common thread held the people together ... hope, change,
the chance to make a difference.
People expressed the view that, if this man could rise to become the
leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth, then anything was
Canadians watched as Obama rose to power but, even more poignantly,
Canadians felt an affinity for their neighbours to the south. It felt as
though it was a coming-together for a continent. The 'staid',
conservative psyche of the Canadian people came out of its shell,
magnetized and drawn by the Obama charisma.
Finally, here is a young leader, who not only appeals to all
generations, but who seems to be influencing young people toward an
interest in the political, economic and environmental status of the
planet and, after all, they are the future.
That he chose his first foray onto the world stage to be north of the
longest undefended border in the world, speaks volumes. We just have to