Friday, January 09, 2009
Strength, courage & wisdom
"This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is 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.For all of his oratorical flourish, none was more poignant than his use of a sprightly Southern belle as the symbolic spectator to how far we've come. A woman who embodied the spirit of that magical night.
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." — President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008, Grant Park
Today she added yet another remarkable footnote by turning 107 years young.
Ms. Cooper is an inspiration, not solely because of the sheer breadth of history she has witnessed firsthand, but also because of her life-long work to change her community and country for the better.
Here's to hoping there's many more candles to be lit in her honor for years to come.
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