And then just a week later another extraordinary moment.

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound.”

The President sang, gave a eulogy, a sermon really, to the country; a country that needed exactly what he was delivering at that moment.

He became the pastor in chief and as I watched with my CNN colleague Van Jones we both could barely keep it together.

“This is quite possibly one of the most extraordinary moments I’ve witnessed on television especially in a speech coming from The President. I’m never really at a loss for words and I’m almost at a loss for words right now.”

In that moment, President Obama lost the filter that had kept him from speaking as many in the country wanted him to speak.

He seemed free and it was fantastic.

And then a few weeks later something even more extraordinary, especially bearing witness to it as a son of the south.

That hateful Confederate flag came down.

“I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, really a little town called Port Allen and then also Baker.  And that was one of the reasons I left.  I didn’t think specifically about the flag.  I just thought that my chances were limited as long as I stay in the South. So I went north where I did have more opportunities quite frankly.”

I cried.

Van Jones cried.

I did not realize that that flag coming down would affect me so.

It was a big moment for the country and I am so fortunate to be able to guide America and the world through them.

Thank you Sybil for helping me to take a little time to appreciate that I got to see history close up.


Don Lemon: Charleston – Three Weeks Of History In The Making  was originally published on

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