“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountain top. And I don’t mind. 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. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”~ Martin Luther King Jr., “I’ve Been To the Mountain Top”
“Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”~ Barack Obama, Victory Speech, November 5, 2009
Yesterday ended, really ended, an election more haunted by history than perhaps any other in this nation’s history, and particularly haunted by a man whose dream of equality and justice gave voice to the hopes of many in his generation, and literally gave hope to so many in mine. So, it seems appropriate that — book-ending his campaign — Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech for the Democratic party’s nomination on the 45th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, and took the oath of office and give his inaugural address one day after the holiday acknowledging what would have been King’s 80th birthday.
There is much, so much to celebrate in this moment. And much sobering reality we must remember.