Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another Spirit of 76

©TimothyA. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

The words historic, transformational, and momentous seem to pale given the light of day and the realization that the United States of America has initiated a new era of change with the selection of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President. It took two years and was the most expensive race for the White House ever waged. Yet, as the dust settled on Election Day there emerged the two nominees congratulating each other with grace and admiration, reminding their party faithful that America had spoken and that everyone needed to support the choice that had been made. Like the war hero and patriot that he is, John McCain delivered a brilliant consolation speech advising the Republicans who gathered in Arizona in the midst of defeat that America had won respect throughout the world for the peaceful transition it had achieved at the ballot box. For his part, in front of a Chicago crowd of 125,000 at Grant Park, Barack Obama delivered a rousing, emotional speech with the anthem "Yes we can" reverberating throughout the crowd, their cheers rising up through the night air and reaching into the homes of the nation via the broadcast waves. It is incredible when one considers that 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King -- a moment when African-Americans most despaired for true equality -- that one of their own will soon occupy the highest office in the land. As a child I remember those turbulent days in the Old South and I recall the pushback to the civil rights movement that resulted in sit-ins, marches and, sometimes, unfortunately, that escalated into violence. America is on the brink of a new era that will have a great deal of scrutiny on the young family that will soon live in the White House. As the President-Elect suggested, these will be tough times ahead and there will be setbacks along the way. Only 76 days remain between now and January 20 when he takes his historic, transformational and momentous oath of office. God bless him and, in the words he ended his address last night, "God bless the United States of America."

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