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Today's top story... - Mark's Journal
Today's top story...
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can. When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can. She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
7 comments or Leave a comment
femmeggie From: femmeggie Date: November 5th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)
That part of the speech actually made me cry. And I NEVER cry.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: November 5th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Me too. :-)
ruffian_wind From: ruffian_wind Date: November 5th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
What a beautiful speech. I'm glad she was able to live to see this historic moment.
f4f3 From: f4f3 Date: November 5th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful message.
tess_azure From: tess_azure Date: November 5th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
That was such a goosebump moment.
khanadafaye From: khanadafaye Date: November 5th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for posting this. I know I will keep returning to it.
allyson13 From: allyson13 Date: November 6th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
When he talked about Mizz Nixon, I thought about my family, my grandparents and great grandparents who went through so much to give their children a better life.

And it all came to fruition last night.

That's the point when I shed a tear.
7 comments or Leave a comment