Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Julia's Musings: Yes We Can be Anything We Want to Be.

Before we start our coverage of the inauguration I am going to take a moment of personal privlege. As a student of politics I am always moved at the way our nation handles the transfer of power. It is always a moment in my life when i am amazed that we can put away our partisan views, step aside from the often ugly rhetoric of a campaign cycle, and simply come together to support and welcome the next President of the United States.

Today is a historic moment in our shared national history. Today the first African-American will take the oath of office and will lead this great nation. It is an amazing moment and one that I personally had hoped for but was unsure I would ever see .

My mother, a child of the Great Depression and the first college graduate in my family, spent years teaching in Harlem, New York. She told her students every day that they could be anything they wanted to be. Their future was up to them.

I graduated from Citrus High School in Inverness Florida in 1984. We were the first class to graduate that was completely integrated from kindergarten to twelth grade. We were also told we could be anything we wanted to be. The future was up to us.

Today those words are no longer mere rhetoric, they are no longer "just words" to spur kids along their path. Today we can all share in MLK's dream. Today we can all believe in a future where the dialogue of race can move to a dialogue of how we can as a "united" country reach out tho those who need help and how we can move our nation forward. Today we can see a brighter future for all Americans.

There will be work ahead of us. It will not be easy. We will need to remind all our elected leaders that there are real education issues, real health care issues, real housing issues and real employment issues for people with disabilities in our nation.
That work will begin minutes after the swearing in. But for now, let us all enjoy this moment and revel in the reality that hope won.

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