NEW YORK - For some in the storm recovery zone, voting today is an emotional event, a reminder of what it means to be an American.
On Long Island, Sarah Brewster, 39, was shaken when she entered the East Elementary School in Long Beach to vote and noticed that the clocks were all stopped at 7:27 - the time on Monday evening when everyone in the community lost power. She started crying when she emerged from the crowded school cafeteria, surrounded by more reminders of the hurricane - the loud hum of generators to keep the school open and the portable toilets on the sidewalk.
"It's emotional. You go into the building here and you see the clocks stopped at 7:27 when we lost power. It's right there in the polling place, 7:27, when it all happened here, so..."
She trailed off. Tears streamed down her face as she spoke.
"Seeing the generators and all that but it's important to be here. We've just got to keep going forward and doing the best we can in the midst of the destruction."
"It's part of our civic responsibility in the midst of all this crisis."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )