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Messages to the President-Elect


Congratulatory messages for President-elect Barack Obama are pouring in from all over the world. In Washington, a signing wall has been erected at the steps of one the city's most famous monuments. Visitors from around the world have stopped by to relay good wishes. Others have sent congratulations through e-mail. Jeff Swicord Reports.

At the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated to the American president who ended slavery, a signing wall has been erected to congratulate the first African American President-elect, Barack Obama.

The wall is the idea of the web-based non-partisan organization avaaz.org. Its mission is to make sure the views of the world's people get through to their decision-makers.

"What you see here are images and messages from people all over the world," Brett Solomon said. He is Program Director for Avaaz. "From the four corners of the globe - who have been watching intently what has happened in the U.S. intently - who are extremely encouraged and hopeful about the future."

He says Avaaz is receiving $10,000 e-mails each hour from people congratulating Mr. Obama. Many have sent pictures of themselves along with their messages. At last count, there were messages from people in more than 150 countries.

"This is not just a new era for America, but a new era for the world," Solomon said. "And the photographs of the people they send, there is a twinkle in their eye and a sense of possibility and of hope."

Solomon says shortly after the wall went up, there were hundreds of messages in different languages written by passers by. Jeong Young Sik and his family are visiting from South Korea. They stopped to sign the wall. "Congratulations Mr. Obama.," Sik said. "We hope that President Obama will bring better relations between the U.S. And Korea. Congratulations again."

Thomas Vanzijl and Mark Mulder from the Netherlands said President-elect Obama is popular in Europe. "I think we all like him," Mulder said.

Avaaz plans to keep the wall up for about a week and add more space for signatures as it's needed. The group has invited Mr. Obama to visit the wall. But there is no word on whether he will accept.

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