Today is a day of words and the ideas that they form. It’s a day in which we, as Americans, celebrate our national heritage. The words of those documents that define our nation are writ large on Inauguration Day. The words of The Declaration of Independence boldly proclaimed to the world that we are all equal and endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The words of our ever-evolving Constitution established our government, the system of checks and balances, of Federalism, of majority rule and minority rights, of the ability to amend to form a more perfect union. For nearly a quarter of a millennium, we have come together every four years to celebrate the peaceful transition or maintenance of political power. There have been great speeches in those gatherings, that echo across the centuries as thunderous whispers reminding of us who we are as a people.
Then there is the other celebration today, a celebration of a man and a movement that used words and nonviolent action and sheer moral force delivered from the margins of power to shatter segregation’s chains and move us further and further along the path to that more perfect union.
Inauguration Day and Martin Luther King Junior Day are days about big ideas, about hope and our deepest values, ideas expressed with big words that are meant to inspire the angels of our better nature and spur us on to our greatest values.
On a day marked by the words of giants, the words of one little blogger don’t add much profundity, so I will simply say that today, I’m proud to be an American.