Kalrac (kalrac) wrote,

Writing Letters To The Future

I want to write a letter to the future, telling them exactly how I feel about last night. I want to record what it means to me. It strikes me that history loses its humanity over time. We had to memorize the words of the Gettyburg address, but never spend time thinking about why it was given. We all know about Pearl Harbor, but we don't sense the fear, uncertainty, and anger of the people at the time. The only sense I have of the joy of the end of WWII is that picture of the sailor and the nurse in Times Square. When we landed on the moon, everyone "remembers where they were", but I don't know what any of them were thinking or dreaming that day. And we all know how we felt on the morning of September 11th, but only because we watched the buildings crumble. Our children and grandchildren won't know. There are important days in history that are relegated to a single dusty line of the facts.

"On November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama of Illinois was elected the first Black president of the United States."

That's what the textbooks will say. But we all know that's not what happened yeterday. It was much, much more than that. It was America standing up to the past eight years, coming together with a willingness to fix what was broken. It was all of us, dreaming of a better tommorow as we filled in our little bubbles or punched a hole next to Barack Obama's name.

Let's tell that better tomorrow what our dreams are. We did this for them, let's make sure they know why. Schoolchildren of the future will have to memorize lines like, "Yes We Can" and "This is Our Moment". Let's make sure they know what those words did to us.

I'm writing a letter to my youngest nephew about last night and about the race in general. I'll have him open it on his 18th birthday, seventeen years from now. He'll inherit what we've achieved, and he'll be the one judging our success. I don't want him to know of last night only through a dusty line in a boring textbook.

I encourage all of you to write to your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, even if you don't have any yet. Write a letter to the future to let them know what this journey has meant to you, and what you hope it will mean to them.
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