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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Great Journeys

We are a nation defined by great journeys. Those our parents took to reach these shores, starting in faraway lands, arriving on ships, leaving their footprints on Ellis Island.

An earlier president challenging us to reach for the stars, land on the moon.

So it is fitting that this president-elect chooses to begin his Inaugural moments riding with his family on a train.

He has led all of us on a great quest the past two years, this fellow with the funny name.

We love our symbols, so it was not lost on us, the plane crash. U.S. Air. Why that airline? Planes bracket the last eight years. The planes that crashed on Bush’s watch into the Twin Towers.

And now, the plane that the pilot with the funny name coolly ditched into chilly waters and yet everyone survived. And the pilot himself was last to leave, walking up and down the plane’s aisle twice to be sure everyone else had gotten out safely.

For too long, those who piloted this country, driven by greed and selfishness, sat back and scooped up the nation’s treasure in the name of free market and deregulation while grinding down those whose toil and labors built this land.

And a cold wind blew down from the north, from where some scoff about whether the ice cap is melting, and this week the heartland has been brutal and it’s sweeping across the east, too. Chilling out the old, emphasizing the end of a brutal time for too many. Fillin’ the ol’ coffers is as cold and greedy and selfish as all the age we have come through.

We’re on the brink of a new time, now. A new president who calls us to service to honor our commitment to hope, to honor the generations who came before us to build this land, to reach out a hand to lift up another.

In fact and fiction, we love our great journeys. Boldly going, driving cattle from Lonesome Dove, Wagon Train, Heyerdahl’s Kontiki, two fellows following the path of Marco Polo, the eternal hunger in our spirits to reach beyond the shallow and seek great heights.

Journeys are within as well as across great expanses. We begin a great journey again as a nation. We are all invited to take part. It is not just Obama’s journey. It is not just Washington’s journey. It is for all of us.

And it’s not a journey to Washington to watch an Inaugural. Although that’s a part of it for estimated millions to come.

It’s a journey for all of us in every corner of this great land. To move forward, to rebuild our nation from the embers that still glow and are awaiting the nurturing hand to feed the flame.

Are you fired up? Ready to go?

Then let’s begin again…together.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

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