Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Days of Memory

Today would have been my father's birthday. I have a few of these dates locked into my mind and they will be there forever. Dad was born in 1933. I don't know that he was ever fully aware of his place and time in history. He grew up in Clarinda, Iowa and though the Everly Brothers were on the radio in nearby Shenandoah, he had no idea who they were.

He was in high school and college during the Korean War, yet he was so busy with his activities and studies that he didn't pay much attention to that era. He didn't remember much about WWII - his family was too young to fight and his father was too old and had some serious physical issues.

That all changed when he met mom. They actively watched world events and ensured that their kids were aware of things that were happening around us. Sometimes we refused to pay attention, but I remember nights in front of the television as astronauts left the confines of the earth and as national leaders were assassinated. I remember watching the news during the Viet Nam war and being fully exposed to all of the elections that occurred.

Dad would have felt pride watching this election. I don't know who he would have voted for, he moved back and forth between the major parties as he weighed the candidate's platforms. But, the fact that this country has elected an African-American president would have thrilled him. He worked and prayed for an end to bigotry. He would have been proud that a woman was on the ticket.

I thought about my parents and their reactions to this election tonight. I'm sorry they didn't see this kind of progress in their lifetime, but I'm thankful that there were people like them that taught us to respect all people, regardless of race or gender, and to believe that anyone can be President of the United States.

1 comment:

Fran said...


The times they are a changin' and I'm pleased to have see it with my own eyes.