[I expect I’ll have a more coherent response to this at some point but for now I just need to get this out.]
Every day we live through history. Every day we see things which haven’t happened before and which may never happen again. Things which simply haven’t happened for a long time. And we’ve never been alive as long as we have right now.
But that history is fleeting. Local. Personal. While some of it may end up in a drab textbook our grandkids must read , most of it will disappear into the vast maw of the mundane.
This moment will live on for generations. It will affect how we see the world, and how the world sees us. We will remember it like we do the Challenger explosion; or the way our parents remember the Kennedy and King assassinations; the way we now remember the September 11 attacks: We lived through it together, and it immediately became part of our collective history. All of us recognized the moments as important. A few saw them as historical. Either way, we knew those moments would be talked about forever as cultural touchstones: â€œWhere were you when…?â€
But this moment has one huge difference: As I recognize the impact of it, I realize that for the first time in my life, I’m experiencing history that is positive. History I’ll recall with joy, not sorrow. History that makes me swell with pride, not cringe in sadness.
In just eleven weeks, I will be saying those words.
One day, my great grandkids will be reading those words, as part of this country’s new history.
They won’t recognize the meaning of it. He will be just another president—and this will be just another moment—they have to learn about, along with Washington and Lincoln; King and September 11. And they won’t understand why it meant so much to this country.
But I will.
Thank you, America.