Obama Speech Excitement in Pr.Geo.'s
The tears started to flow Thursday night at former Redskin LaVar Arrington's Sideline Restaurant and Bar in Prince George's County as soon as Sen. Barack Obama stood in the Denver Broncos football stadium and said, "I accept the nomination."
Hundreds were there to watch Obama become the first African-American presidential candidate for a major party. The floor of the sports bar had been transformed into a scaled-down version of Denver's Pepsi Center, complete with balloons, campaign posters and big screen monitors, 45 years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
"I remember hearing King, I remember the marches, I remember the burning crosses," said Brad Arrington, LaVarr Arrington's uncle and one of the managing partners of the restaurant. "I told my children that if they worked hard and got a good education they could even become president. But to see it almost happening is phenomenal."
Sherry Stevens-Lord, a local coordinator for the Obama campaign, noted the diverse group of people gathered at the restaurant.
"He is nominee for all people, not just people who are underserved or overserved," said Stevens-Lord. "He personifies where we are as a country. The races are coming together. There are so many people from all races who walk with us, who knock on doors. This is the most exciting time in my lifetime."
Vanessa Davis, one of the coordinators of an Obama get-out-to vote effort, said the real work is beginning. Between now and November, she will be part of an effort to mobilize voters in the battelground state of Virginia.
Davis said she plans to visit the commonwealth every weekend between now and November. "We plan to turn Virginia blue."
-- Hamil R. Harris
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