Eyre Affairs

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Friday, January 11, 2008


"There was hope in its aspect..." ~ Jane Eyre

He brings me back to many moments of my childhood that compiled into the solidification of my love of country.

As a child, I idolized Lincoln and wrote books on Theodore Roosevelt (illustrated by my hand, might I add). I was taught about FDR from my grandparents and knew the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor and how American fought back and won. There is a picture of me and my sister, age seven, standing at Lincoln's memorial in D.C. saluting old Abe with beaming smiles. By the time I was in middle school, I hoarded American historical fiction designed for readers my age and must have read the book Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi two dozen times because it was an educational epic about the Revolutionary War. I visited Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell; I walked the Freedom Trail in Boston. My older sister and her friends became obsessed with the series North and South, and it became a teaching tool my father used to have us read more about the Civil War even though we admit we were more into learning about Patrick Swayze. By the time I was a teenager I was rocking mock trials in American History and got a 5 on my AP American History test not because I studied hard but because the material was something I was extremely passionate about. I will never forget climbing Lady Liberty, seeing Missisisippi Burning for the first time, and going to Fraunces Tavern in the city where Washington gave his farewell speech to his troops. I will never forget hearing the first opening bars to Ashoken Farewell for the first time when it debuted on Ken Burns' Civil War and asking my orchestra teacher to order the music. All that I learned about the glory of this country and the bounties of democracy were kept close to my heart.

As a child and teenager, I felt safe and secure as an American. I was aware of the flaws, the horrible moments of shameful history, and the corruption that has ensued. I was aware of succceses in addition to failures. Still, I never lost faith and I believed we were moving in a direction that would always overcome any obstacle in our way as a nation.

And then in my early twenties, my faith was tested and all but lost.

My city was attacked because a terrorist was not stopped when he should have been years before; the sidewalks of my New York will forever be tainted with blood of the innocent. Another city I love was destroyed because the goverment failed to uphold levees that were safe and secure; American citizens dead...floating away as if their lives didnt matter because they were black and poor. I popped sleeping pills all through the summer of 2006 when D.R. was on the streets of Samarra during his first tour of Iraq. Now that he is behind a desk during his second, we have no opportunity to talk on a regular basis because he is so overworked. The economy eats away at my savings and my generation will never get our Social Security. My nephew has never experienced a true snow because of global warming, and more and more people I know are being affected by cancer at a younger age, probably due to toxins in our enviornment.

My twenties were about fatigue, not passion. They were about anger, not love. They were about anti-establishment, not patriotism.

And then he came into my life.

This man can resurrect the dead.

When he speaks, Lincoln's perseverance is alive, Martin Luther King Jr's dream is alive, Teddy Roosevelt's tenaciousness is alive, FDR's leadership is alive.

I am alive.

http://www.barackobama.com/index.php

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8 Comments:

Blogger the queen said...

I love this post, simply because I feel the same way. I don't know if I want him in charge, but I want him out front.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Charlie Mc said...

I have not sipped the Oprah Kool-Aid as of yet. Although his speeches ARE inspirational and moving, I am not sold on this guy yet. Truthfully, I am not a HUGE fan of any of the candidates. But I do feel that Edwards is the most honest and in touch with the plight of the middle class and the disadvantaged. He appears to be the most genuine. He takes on the big corporations rather than taking their money like Hillary and Obama have.

In any case, I don't think we will see the likes of FDR, JFK, RFK, MLK, or anyone in that exclusive group again. Sad, but true.

We need a strong 3rd party, one FOR the people.

9:53 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Queen ~ Whomever you vote for, I hope that it also makes you feel inspired once again.

CMac ~ In his defense, his net worth is just 1 million - he is the poorest of the candidates. I think that using what means he can to get into a position to change things right now is fair enough. Have you read his books? You should, if just for reference sake.
Yeah, your third party may just be Bloomberg! :)

10:01 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Rock on! I am a big fan of Obama as well for many reasons similar to the ones you cited.

I always think about who is going to help my students... who is really looking out for them... I have my fingers crossed this year.

2:06 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Shannon ~ Oh yea, we got another Obama girl! Right on...maybe if Barack was president sooner I wouldnt have left the awful conditions of the classroom. But he is doing right by University, too. I *love* that he wants to provide scholarships for freshman so long as they do community service...its a great idea.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Frumteacher said...

Beautiful...

4:02 PM  
Blogger foam said...

i do believe the late teens and 20s are about disillusionment. that's when i became disillusioned with the state of affairs i saw going on around me. i like obama. i like his message. but i'm jaded enough in my late 40s to believe that not much makes a difference anymore. we'll see.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Charlie Mc said...

Whomever it is, we surely need a change from what's gone on the last 7 years......

9:10 PM  

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