Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Acknowledging the Moment

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 1:19 AM

One of the interesting side stories of this historic day is how different folks acknowledged the moment. Mark Folse wrote earlier today (in response to a Kevin Allman post) about seeing an elderly black couple dressed in their Easter best leaving the voting precinct after participating in what they surely knew was a defining moment in American history. What a beautiful (and touching) moment.

 

I came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  I was too young to play a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, but I was just old enough to hear about it on a daily basis and to recognize that it was changing America in a powerful, fundamental way. I have had the privilege of getting to know some older black and white civil rights workers from that era, and I have relived their experiences vicariously by listening to their stories.  Yesterday, I called an older friend of mine and left him a message congratulating him on living long enough to see America’s first African-American president elected. Today, I reached out to my sons, ages 26 and 15, to tell them that they are witnessing history — and to take some time to take in the moment.

 

It’s rare that history is made in a single day. Often it takes months or years for change to occur, and when you’re living through it you often don’t see it coming. Not so today, I told my sons.  I also told them that I love them and am proud of them.  They no doubt thought their old man was just having another sentimental day, but I’m hoping that years from now they will tell their own children and grandchildren that they were very much aware of what was going on the Day American Changed — and that they and their pop acknowledged the moment.

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