Travel Log: Philadelphia (Day 1)
Sr. Eileen Reilly, SSND
July 26, 2016
Excitement rose on the bus as we began the two hour drive down the NJ Turnpike to Philadelphia, the site of the Democratic National Convention. When we arrived in the city before noon, the streets were alive with supporters of Bernie and Hilary – all eagerly awaiting the roll call vote scheduled for the evening.
We Nuns on the Bus presented a workshop for some of the convention participants. It was a modified version of the caucus that we had presented in every city along the way. We were pleased and amazed at how many people knew of us, recognized us, and affirmed the work we were doing.
The credentialing process for the actual convention reminded me of the UN process – several different credentials were needed to gain access to the various venues for the convention, so we were all walking though the site displaying several passes.
We arrived at the site, just in time for the nominating speeches which were followed by the roll call vote. It was just like the movies! “The great state of . . . casts 7 votes for Bernie Sanders and 7 votes for Hilary Clinton. “ And so it went. After a very gracious speech by Bernie at the end of the roll call, Hilary became the official nominee of the party. We were there for this historic moment! What a thrill.
The remainder of the evening was a combination of speeches by supporters, appearances by celebrities, video presentations on some of the key issues. Perhaps the highlight was a presentation by the Mothers of the Movement – a group of mothers of children who have been murdered by police in the last several years. Theirs’ was a message of hope, a plea that not one more mother ever has to join their group.
One more time, local nuns offered a warm welcome and overnight hospitality to we Nuns on the Bus – and the good news is that we were closer to the site of the convention than most of the delegates!