Our view: I was at Kent State When…

DKS Editors

Although the snow is deep and maybe not well-shoveled in places, although it’s rather cold and no one wants to end winter break to get back to classes – today is bound to be memorable.

Regardless of who you voted for (or even if you voted at all), you’ll tell your children and grandchildren, “I remember when we elected our first black president.” And you’ll tell them you were at Kent State.

Our generation proved to a nation in doubt that we could come out with not only T-shirts and bumper stickers, with blogs and letters, but we would show up at the polls. It’s not always easy to take a stand, especially in the highly contested election this was, but at the end of the day we hope you feel proud.

Feel proud that the country elected its first black president, that now minorities finally feel they’ll have a voice at the White House. Maybe this is one step closer to equality for different cultures, sexes and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Feel proud that even if you didn’t vote for Barack Obama, you still participated in an election. Exercising your right to vote – no matter if for the Republican or Democrat or Independent or any other candidate – is a bold move. We hope students never forget those who struggled to give them this right.

Feel proud that although the country is standing on shaky ground during this economic turmoil, we can feel stable and celebrate the beginning of a new era in American history. As with Sept. 11 and other events that shook the spirit of this nation, we always come together at the end of the day to remind the rest of the world that we are strong.

Even before Obama is sworn in, the country was asked to participate in a “day of service” by volunteering their time and efforts to a good cause on the eve of his inauguration. Change does not need to begin on the day Obama is sworn in; change can occur whenever the country is ready.

There is a long road ahead for Obama, and today we pause to celebrate his inauguration – a day, like the election, we’ll remember forever. But let’s not wait for him to tell us when to take action. Let’s not wait for him to give us directions on how to fix our country. We must take the initiative to fix what we see is broken and celebrate what continues to work.

We couldn’t be more proud to start our first day of classes and our first paper of the semester on the first day of the Barack Obama presidency. And we definitely can’t wait to make a change in this country – no matter what day of the year.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.