When my wife and I voted, I finished before she did and waited for her at the door.
As I stood there, a man I would guess to be in his 50s and originally from Haiti, paused as he pushed open the door. He took the “ I voted!” sticker we all had been given, and held it to his lips and kissed it, saying “God Bless America.” He continued out the door placing the sticker on his shirt, smiling broadly as he walked away.
Just a few minutes later, another man, much older than the first, paused at the door because he had dropped his glasses. I went to help him pick them up. He looked at me, and said “Thank you” with a heavy Spanish accent. He placed his hand on his “I voted!” sticker and said “I voted; today I am a citizen!” Without another word he went out the door.
I felt tears beginning to well up in my eyes, and had to fight hard to control my emotions. I am a 71-year old non-Hispanic white man, and was born and reared in Jacksonville. My wife and I have lived in Miami since 1973, and reared all five of our children here.
I share this experience because it reminded me about what I have taken for granted all of my life and have never had any doubt about: the right and opportunity to vote.
I thank these two people for what they unknowingly taught me.
Hugh A. Westbrook,
Sunny Isles Beach