US election: Democrat victory party creates night to remember for Bangor pupils

The moment the US election was decided

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Election night: An evening already full of excitement and expectations was quickly transformed into an unforgettable experience following the warm reception we received at the Democratic meet-up at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

ABOUT THE STORY

  • Pupils from Bangor Grammar School in County Down have travelled to Washington to experience the excitement of a US presidential election
  • School Reporters will be sending back regular updates on their trip, offering their perspective on the race for the White House and their experiences along the way

The event, organised by the Democratic portion of the university's student body, allowed our group from Bangor Grammar to view exit poll results and projections live.

We were also able to discuss our political views with other students, many of whom were able to offer a deep insight into the US political system.

In many areas discussions flourished, and we were able to conduct a series of quick interviews.

The friendly atmosphere was further complemented by the refreshments and accessories provided.

Campaign badges, T-shirts and other memorabilia proved to be especially popular, not just with the Bangor Grammarians, but also local Democrats.

As the projections of state results began to come in, excitement in the room mounted.

Bangor pupils enjoy the celebrations Bangor pupils enjoy the celebrations

As swing states began to fall into Obama's lap, the atmosphere in the room became euphoric, and fears of a tight election melted away.

'Happy, smiling people'

The climax came with CNN's projection of the Ohio result.

It was now clear: Obama would win a second term! Georgetown students and staff hugged and wept and the room went wild.

We joined in, temporarily forgetting that we were there to observe.

The party soon relocated to the White House where the celebrations stretched long into the morning.

While others sang the national anthem and shouted "four more years", we sang our school song, drawing bemused looks from others. "Ne pavidus exeat" - let us go out without fear.

It seemed that all of DC had done just that as the streets were jammed with happy, smiling people.

The night was poignant for us for more reasons than one. We were accompanied by our headmaster, Stephen Connolly, and by two other teachers.

Missing, however, was the very special person whose vision this whole trip was. Amanda Chapman, head of politics at Bangor Grammar, died tragically in August while on holiday.

Her passion for politics inspired all of us, and our thoughts turned to her as we sang and cheered.

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