Chicago seniors reflect on historic election

November 4, 2008 2:28:49 PM PST
No one knows yet who will emerge as president, but whether it's Obama or McCain, history will be made.The significance of the election is not lost on anyone, with an African-American presidential candidate and a female vice presidential candidate. Tuesday afternoon, ABC7 Chicago talked with some senior voters in Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood who helped put Tuesday's historical significance in perspective.

Hyde Park voters didn't have to wait at one polling place, but some said they would have waited to take part in Tuesday's historic election.

"I didn't think I'd see this day, like many others who never thought they would see it," said voter John Major.

Neighbors at Montgomery Place recalled their childhoods. One person grew up in the segregated South, and the other in a Jewish neighborhood in the North.

"Even now, I'm getting a chill. It's important. It's magnificent," voter Anne Kopp Hyman.

It seems this election day may mean more for those who have seen the most.

"There has been nothing like it, and I never thought I would see anything like it," said voter Penelope Robinson.

"Maybe we have jumped over the last hurdle, treating each other as equal," another voter, Elizabeth Wissler, said.

Jerome Sissman remembered being assigned as a Coast guardsman to force African-Americans in the back of the bus, but he and some friends had problems with that. When they were done, they chose to sit in the back of the bus.

"The driver said, 'Oh, no. You've got to be in the front.' I mean, we had our fun with it, but I don't think I would every see this day," Sissman said.

Voter Dorothy Cruce has waited decades for this election day, and she says she's ready for the future.

"He's such an eloquent young man. Not just that he's black, but he's an eloquent young man. And his capabilities and all, just brings tears to my eyes sometimes," she said.

The seniors speaking with ABC7 Chicago had incredible stories of seeing world-changing events in their lifetimes. Many feel this election will be another one of those moments they are grateful to have seen.


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