Wednesday, June 04, 2008

watching history

Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we must admit the historical nature of this years election. On the side of the Democrats, the nominee for President of the United States is an African-American. What is more is that he is the product of an African immigrant marrying a white woman from Kansas. That is to say, he is the son of a racially mixed marriage.

I wonder what our Founding Fathers would say about this moment. Could they have even imagined what would happen when they first penned those words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Could they have foreseen that these words written in 1776 would have led to a civil war in the 1860's? And that these words led to the first line of Lincoln's famous address that healed a divided nation: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

And could they have imagined that that God-given truth about humanity would lead further still to the Civil Rights movement and the famous speech at the mall in Washington, remembered so famously for these words: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'."

Could any of them have really understood the power of their words? Did the Founding Fathers, Lincoln, or Dr. King understand that their resounding belief in equality would echo over and over again in the hearts and minds of Americans? Did they realize that each time they chose to highlight these truths about the Creator and His creation, about God and His humanity, that they were opening the doors of opportunity for a young, African-American boy from a mixed-marriage?

The swell of energy from those words spoken down through history have culminated in a tidal-wave of hope that is now crashing onto the shores of the 21st century. For the first time in our American history, the unthinkable has become a reality. What was once out of reach has been taken hold of. An African-American is one of two nominees for President, and is the favorite at that!

Ever wonder what it feels like to watch history happen right before your eyes? Well, now we know. Our generation now stands alongside the generation that wrote the Declaration of Independence. Our generation now stands humbly with Lincoln at Gettysburg. Our generation now stands arm in arm with our parent's generation, marching alongside Dr. King.

We are the generation that finally sees the fruition of the dreams of so many. And as Americans, it can no longer be doubted that we mean what we say when we say that "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." The vision of a few revolutionaries 232 years ago is finally taking shape and it is an honor to be alive to see it.


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