Thursday, November 6, 2008

Contemplation


Yesterday evening I went to the Lincoln Memorial, as it seemed the appropriate place to continue celebrating with some quiet contemplation. I was not alone. A large wall erected by AVAAZ, an international activist group, congratulates Obama and leaves room for visitors to sign. Many many have, expressing their wishes and hopes. It was beautiful.

I had forgotten that in addition to the Gettysburg Address, the words of his second inaugural speech are inscribed on the wall. It echoed some thoughts from a NY Times Op-Ed about the election of Obama finally ending the struggle from the Civil War.

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'.

Symbolically, I like the idea of this election marking the end of this era. Realistically, I don't believe that racism is dead.

1 comment:

JacobM said...

The Lincoln Memorial will be re-dedicated in 2009, to mark Lincoln's 200th birthday.

I get all weepy when I think that Obama will preside over that ceremony. How perfect is that?

No, it's not the end of racism in the US. But it's a huge step.