Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Elect

I guess one has to have some time on the planet to appreciate what Obama's election signifies.

I'm a member of the class of 1968. We practiced atomic bomb drills in elementary school along with fire drills.Teachers made the boys put away the newfangled transistor radios they brought to school to listen to the World Series. The evening news showed police and the National Guard using batons, fire hoses and German shepherds against civil rights marchers. We also witnessed news coverage of foolhardy but brave East Berliners attemptting to cross the wall. The space race excited us and everyone stopped to watch each step of the way to the moon. We learned about President Kennedy's assassination from our teachers before we were dismissed early from school, and then watched the drama unfold on live TV with the rest of the nation and world. Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed a month before we graduated from high school and only months later Bobby Kennedy was taken down. We anxiously gathered around the TV when draft numbers were drawn during the Viet Nam War and many of us protested the war in one way or another. As college students we participated in the first Earth Day. When we entered the working world, employers asked young women our marriage status and plans to have children, which would of course interfere with our work.

Each generation stands on the shoulders of the previous one. One generation's enemy is the next generation's ally. One generation's fight becomes a right taken for granted by the next and future generations.

Today children no longer prepare for atomic warfare, the Berlin Wall is no more, space travel is ho hum, everyone is electronically connected 24/7 -- and we now have a black man (1960's speak) elected president of the United States.


No comments: