President Obama made it plain – America must cherish its history by embracing every American today.
Though the new year officially began three weeks ago it seems it really started Monday with the inauguration of the President, the fanfare, the parades and his challenge to all Americans,”our journey is not complete”.
He recounted some of the challenges we face but also what makes it possible for us to face those challenges head on. “What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
He drew a picture of America that included its rich, poor, struggling, successful, straight, gay, immigrant, women, educated and the undereducated. He bridged the gap from the past to the present with words from the US Constitution that seemed fitting for the challenges of our time. And mostly he acknowledged the hard painful work ahead for people of goodwill and all Americans to sustain our energy, to summon our courage, to dedicate our talents, and to hone our intellect to complete the journey.
“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.
Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.
Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.
Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.
That is our generation’s task, to make these works, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.”
We are blessed to be Americans, it is our responsibility to heed the President’s call across the land and specifically Georgia. As an original colony of the United States our responsibility is equal to if not greater than that of others. As the President said,
“That is our generation’s task- to make these words, these rights, these values- of Life and Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness- real for every American.”
It is the sentiment of the William Few and Abraham Baldwin, Georgia signers of the Constitution, as much as anyone else.