Green Girl Electrified by the Election

Tuesday night was certainly quite an event for our country! I must say that being on a college campus was an amazing way to spend the election. Our generation is, perhaps for the first time ever, incredibly concerned and invested in the future of our country and the impact that we each have on that future. As a first-time voter on a campus of mainly other first-time voters, we wanted to do our part. And we did! Obama beat McCain more than 2 to 1 among voters under age 30.

I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything quite like last night. The majority of the Tufts campus was huddled in the Campus Center watching the TV screens as the votes came in; there was quite a tangible excitement in the air. When they declared Obama the winner around 11 p.m. EST, the campus literally went wild in an incredible way. Everyone was jumping up and down and cheering and running outside and hugging all of their friends, and even people they didn’t know at all, and crying. It was as though hope had finally broken through. Nearly everyone in the room was crying with happiness when Obama gave his speech. After the TVs were turned off, the mass of people moved outside, cheering and chanting, “YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!” Everyone horded into the streets and ran screaming up the hill (we live on a hill) to the upper part of campus. The police blocked off the streets so we could all celebrate together–which shocked me, because I was expecting them to come disband the rallying. But no, they were happy too, and even took part in the chaos.

What really struck me, in all of this, was what incredible national pride was being expressed. I have never particularly taken a huge pride in America–not because I’m not happy to live here or because I am not incredibly thankful for the privileges that I have in this country–but because I have never understood the concept of national unity. On Election Night, I did. As we jumped up and down in the street screaming the national anthem, my friend turned to me and said, “I feel like red, white, and blue fireworks just went off in my heart!” And she had it completely right. For the first time ever, I understood what pride in your country means. I understood what hope means. I understood what elation means. I understood what perseverance means. And what a thing it says about our nation that we were able to band together, elect the first African American president, and truly make change happen. With the election of Obama comes an incredibly hopeful change, with the ideals of peace and healing at the forefront. He represents the healing of our nation, of our relationship with the world, of ourselves, and of the Earth, and I have never been more proud to say that I am an American.

Note to self: Yes, we can.

P.S. You can see us here, on video.

Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for all the info.

Johnathan Yeo
Norman Emmie7 years ago

Lily,girl,good job!

Leslie E.
Leslie E9 years ago

Lily - Hi! Glad to read your note. I am a 58 yr. old American woman, who also shares your hope for the future. When I was your age, I took part in campaigns, on my campus, in the Boston area, to begin ecological awareness, by getting signatures for the bottle bill. Can you believe we used to have broken glass and trash all over the streets before then? I also marched in the streets during the Vietnam War, and printed the posters at a graphics workshop, which we carried. So glad to see that young people are caring, again, about the future of this country. It's been a long time coming, and it makes me very happy to see a resurgence of the efforts that my generation began in the late '60's and '70's. There has been a concentrated effort to supress such activity though, through media and other means. I know a lot of my friends stopped marching when the students were killed at Kent State University. It will not be easy to change something that has developed over all this time, and you will need the courage of your convictions. My heart and support go out to you!! Leslie E.

Vanessa W.
Vanessa Wilde9 years ago

Hiya Lilly, as a proud, fair dinkum Aussie who digs her country with all her heart, I can honestly say, "I completely comprehend your excitement on election night". Everyone who has a right to vote should proudly do so, as they are actively taking a part in helping to better their country & more importantly "OUR WORLD".

Congratulations to you Lilly on reaching this important stage in your life, where you now have and I hope you will always have, pride in your heart for your nation!!

I pray that Obama is safe as he attempts to heal the damage that Bush has forced upon not only his nation, but the World as a whole! I hope Obama makes many choices that are not only beneficial to our struggling, volatile economic situation that is affecting the entire World, but also the earth and our ever growing negative impact that the human race is indenting upon it.

Good luck for your future Lilly, you come across as being a very bright, intelligent young lady!!
Peace be with you...Lots of Smiles :-))) Ness Wilde.

Jenn H.
Jenn H.9 years ago

Unfortunately you do not have financials that you could sit down with yet to look at with both candidates information in front of you! While Barack says he is going to give us a tax beak he is also taking allot away from people like home owners where he will reduce our interest deduction with a lesser interest tax credit, he has numerous relationships that challenge his ethics, and thinks that people like you who go to college should hand your hard earned money over to others should you ever become successful! He is not into clean coal, just now says he will "consider" drilling offshore and doesn't want to drill on our soil. Does he not realize that solar is very toxic to make and that the arctic is just as much a part of our ecosystem as the ocean and the deserts that are already being drilled? Maybe if we drill here we would wake up to the reality of our dependence!! But good for you that you got out there and took part in your rights! Keep learning.

Christine P.
Christine P.9 years ago

Lilly, well written and I share your hope for the future.