Video: My Son Met Barack Obama at Ben's Chili Bowl

By Aaron Graham 01-16-2009

Last Saturday our family and a couple of friends decided to drop into Ben's Chili Bowl for a quick bite to eat before heading down to the Smithsonian museum. I knew this wasn't the healthiest option around, but I knew it would be a good experience for our friends to discover this unique little restaurant. None of us were prepared for what would happen next.

We were about half way through our lunch and President-elect Barack Obama walks in! The place went crazy. Then a herd of reporters charged in and just about ran over us all. Obama quickly ordered his chili dog and then made his rounds to meet everyone.

None of us had any clue that the most powerful leader in the world (well, as of this Tuesday) was going to join us for a meal at this tiny diner in the 'hood. I certainly hope this is an indicator of what is to come. Namely, that President Obama commits to bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and commits to staying grounded in the lives of ordinary Americans.

I think meeting Obama will be particularly special for our son Elijah, who my wife Amy and I just adopted in August. As the adoptive father of an African-American boy, it was special for me to have him born the same year that the U.S. elected its first African-American president. This gave me great encouragement to know that Elijah will grow up in a country where he knows he can do or be anything he is called to be.

Now this year will be even more special for Elijah since he met our new president. Here is a quick video our friends captured. At the beginning you can hear Obama say "Hello Elijah."

Aaron Graham is the National Field Organizer and Justice Revivals Coordinator for Sojourners.

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