Obama wore a dark-gray suit and a burgundy tie. Behind him, rippling in a gentle breeze, were more American flags than Maria could count. Speaking slowly, pausing after each phrase, Obama said: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy—tonight is your answer.” Little Marga came up to Maria where she sat on the couch. “Granny Maria,” she said. Maria lifted the child onto her lap and said: “Hush, now, baby, everyone wants to listen to the new president.” Obama said: “It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled—Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals, or a collection of red states and blue states: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.” “Granny Maria,” Marga whispered again. “Look at Granddad.” Maria looked at her husband, George. He was watching the television, but his lined brown face was streaming with tears. He was wiping them away with a big white handkerchief, but as soon as he dried his eyes the tears came again. Marga said: “Why is Granddad crying?” Maria knew why. He was crying for Bobby, and Martin, and Jack. For four Sunday school girls. For Medgar Evers. For all the freedom fighters, dead and alive. “Why?” Marga said again. “Honey,” said Maria, “it’s a long story.