Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Jr. & Inauguration Day

Today marks the Ceremonial beginning of President Obama’s second term as the U.S. President. It also commemorates the life of civil rights leader The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I find it incredibly fitting that the U.S.’s first African American President is ceremonially sworn into a second term on such a day. It makes me feel proud that we’ve come so far as a nation.

There’s still an immense amount of work that will need to be done, there will always be work for a nation so diverse and independently driven as The United States. The work that needs to be done will take a little belt tightening from everyone, but we’re American’s and can do anything we put our collective minds to. The price of our freedom is vigilance and sometimes a little sacrifice and as always, a lot of hard work.

It isn’t easy being a nation of immigrants and individuals with such wide and varied backgrounds. It takes a lot of hard work to remember that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can always try and do what is right for the people. Right is doing those things that common sense dictates will be the most helpful to these varied citizens and immigrants without infringing on all our basic rights as constructed by the framers of our liberties.

It is a testimony to our national thoughtfulness and ever evolving society that an African American man can be re-elected to a second term as the most powerful man in the world. It shows that as Americans, we can do something that is hard, but do it for the right reasons.

Dr. King had a dream just as all Americans have a dream. There was a time in this country where those two dreams seemed as far apart as the Earth and the Sun but through time and a desire to strengthen the fabric of our nation we worked at making those two dreams a collective dream, the fully realized American Dream. Our nation, while wounded with war abroad, violence at home and economic troubles, still dreams the same.

I still believe in that American Dream. I believe in it because we have a Martin Luther King Jr. Day and we have an African American President. I know that American’s can sometimes seem cemented with piety and Victorian sensibilities, we can seem arrogant and stubborn, but we are always looking forward. We all want the same dream and I know we are all capable of achieving it because of what we have done so far.

I have faith in the people, I have faith that with some perseverance and fortitude American’s will come out on top and be the shining beacon of liberty, justice and the symbol of hope we know it can be. We must do the hard work; the hard work that Dr. King did to bring the plight of the African American people to the forefront of our consciousness. The hard work that will go into the gun control issue, same sex marriage, affordable education for all Americans, affordable healthcare and equal justice for all.

There is work that must be done. No one ever said, “You’re an American now, so take it easy. You don’t have to continue to be the best you can be”. Some people may have thought it, but it just isn’t true. It takes a strong will, a sympathetic heart, an educated mind and the willingness to do what is hard. It’s what made America the powerhouse it is. It’s what put men on the moon, it’s what opened the West to settlement; it’s what created the technologies the rest of the world now uses. It was our dogged determination that made us what we are today and what will propel us into the future.

In honor of that Dream, that spirit American’s carry and want to carry always in their hearts I must let someone far wiser and far greater than me wrap this patriotic piece up.

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew”. - Abraham Lincoln

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