Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President-Elect Obama

I am overcome with emotion and pride for my country right now. I haven't felt as proud to be an American since that July night in 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped down onto the surface of the moon.

Last summer while I was at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowhsip meeting in Memphis, I went to the National Civil Rights Institute built around the Lorraine Hotel where Dr. King was killed. I literally stood feet from the spot where he fell to an assassin's bullet. I remember thinking how historic it would be if Senator Barack Obama would be elected president in a few months.

In his last speech in 1968, literally the evening before Dr. King was killed, he said these words:

"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"

I realize that "we, as a people" in that immediate context, referred to the African-American people for whom he was working. But, if I may, I'd like to interpret those words tonight a little bit more broadly. "We, as a people" refers to all Americans and tonight all Americans are standing on the mountaintop with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Our nation is truly better tonight because of this election!

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