Archive - Aug 2008
Yesterday, Fiona briefly rode Storm as he cooled down after a trail ride. This morning, Kim went on a trail ride and Fiona will go on a shorter come smaller ride when everyone gets back
This weekend we are camping with the Lost Silvernine Horse Camp Preservation Society at their tenth annual Labor Day camp out.
Four years ago, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, then vice-presidential nominee John Edwards delivered a speech proclaiming, “Hope is on the way”. Everyone seemed to believe that Sen. Edwards was talking about the hope that a new Kerry administration would bring. The next evening, Sen. Kerry picked up the theme and changed it to “Help is on the way”.
Perhaps this was a mistake. We Americans are proud and self-reliant. We don’t want help. We just want a fair chance, a level playing field, a country where all people are created equal and all people have the same fair chance. The hoped for Kerry administration did not come about, and instead the Bush administration, which seemed more interested in protecting cronies with cushy jobs at the head of FEMA or no bid contracts, continued to cause our country to slip further and further behind.
Now, four years later, perhaps we can see that Sen. Edwards’ words were partly true. The Democratic Party would run another candidate who would bring hope to all Americans. That candidate had been the keynote speaker the night before and is now the Democratic Party Presidential Nominee.
If he is elected, will Barack Obama be able to deliver on the goals he proclaimed last night? This is a question I’ve been coming across on various blogs today. With that, I refer back to another Democratic Presidential candidate in 2004. Gov. Dean regularly told people, “The biggest lie people like me tell people like you, is that if you vote for me, I will solve all your problems. The truth is, you have the power.”
Sen. Obama understands that real change comes from the bottom up. He understands enabling those who want to claim and use their power for good, in part, by helping them to have hope again.
So, let’s work together to make sure that this time, hope is really on the way.
I remember about seven years ago my wife gave me a call from the obstetrician’s office. She was due in about three or four weeks. As she was arranging her next checkup, she looked up at the television in the doctor’s office and saw a plane fly into the World Trade Centers.
That afternoon, I sat down with my two older daughters. One was eleven the other was eight. I told them that something very bad had happened. I told them that this was a day which people would look back to, the way people look back to when JFK was shot. Where were you when…
Where were you when Martin Luther King proclaimed his dream? Where were you when a man first set foot on the moon?
There are rare times in our lives that we participate in a moment in history. Fiona, who was born a few weeks after September 11th wants to stay up this evening, and I will have a similar discussion with her, as I did with her older sister seven years ago, about the historical significance of the day.
The playwrite proclaims, “We are born astride the grave”, and each night the evening news echoes the refrain. We respond with various stages of grief and working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
We do this individually and we do it communally. I remember when Kim’s mother died, and the grief that each of us had. I remember how we banded together and held each other up. I remember 9/11 and friends that were in the Trade Centers when they came down, and friends that through some fortunate circumstance weren’t at work when it happened. We remember 9/11 as a nation as well.
As a nation, we have acted out the anger stage of our grief by pursuing those who perpetrated the attack and then lashing out at another country as well, and we continue to mourn.
Yet it is time for A New Mourning in America. It is time to take our grief and mingle it with the struggles people growing up on the South Side of Chicago, with the grief of a father who loses his wife and one of his children in a car accident just before Christmas. It is time to recognize the grief that we have caused the families of young men and women that have died because of our senseless attack of another country.
So, we have people show up on a stage in Denver to tell their stories, to provide a catharsis and to help us move beyond our anger and fear, to help us take up the role of the returning hero to share the bounty of the hero’s struggle and journey.
We weep as we hear their stories, and we rejoice at their victories. It is a reminder that we all must keep pressing on and that we all may share in bounty of the successful heroes.
Yes, it is time for A New Mourning in America.