At 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Pennsylvania Avenue was filled with throngs of cheering Obama supporters. Some were students, some adults, some even police officers, but all were waving signs, high-fiving and embracing each other, chanting O-bam-a at the top of their lungs. In front of the White House, the faint sounds of the Georgetown fight song rose above the cheers. The crowd sang Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye), and the lights at the White House went out.
Barack Obama, Democratic senator from Illinois, had been elected 44th president of the United States.
At Georgetown, students erupted from their dorms and apartments and from watch parties across campus, flooding Healy Lawn before running out the front gates toward the White House.
When we were running down here, it was everyone people in suits, people in pajamas, it was electric, Caitlin Maloney (NHS 11) said.
We were singing every patriotic song we could think of, Alex Verdaguer (COL 11) said. Most of us didnt even know the words!
Though the crowds were certainly varied as students from different schools joined with adults and children of all ages and from all across the country, Georgetown students said, more than anything, they felt united.
I feel like a part of history, Hannya Boulous (COL 10) said. This is a total moment of togetherness.
Despite the late hour, Georgetown students put schoolwork (and sleep) aside to witness history.
Im just in awe right now, Brandon Martin (COL 09) said. Im going to remember this. Im going to tell my kids and my grandkids that I was here when history was made.
This is amazing, Maron Alemu (COL 11) said. History has been made today. This is the best day of my life.
We did it! she and her friends exclaimed, This is our house!
After months of conflict, negative advertising and adversarial campaigning, many said they believed that the Obamas message of hope was finally becoming a reality.
The cracks in the government are going to be healed, Pat Lenihan (COL 10) said.
Ive never been more proud to be an American, Verdaguer said. Even the police lights look patriotic tonight.
While those gathered for blocks along Pennsylvania Avenue were primarily Obama supporters, some Georgetown students who supported Senator John McCain found it hard to stay away.
I am disappointed but I feel like after seeing all these people who are so happy, I realize that these people have the hope they need, Omar Maniya (COL 11) said.
I was kind of torn these last few days, Lenard Babus (COL 11) said, but Ive realized that while he might not be the best for me, he is the best for the country.
A group of freshman walking along Pennsylvania Avenue near the World Bank said this election was the perfect way to begin their first year in the district.
Its so exciting to be in D.C., especially as freshmen, during such a big election. Katherine Lynn (COL 12) said.
George Washington students walking nearby agreed.
Theres never been a greater place to be at a greater time, Rachel Sidford, a GWU junior said.
In the midst of the euphoria, students said they hoped Obamas next four years would live up to his promises.
I dont know if this feeling will last, but for this moment, tonight, I feel like anything is possible. Maloney said.