Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Relections on a moment in time...

On Sunday there was a huge commotion coming from the Sun Inn Courtyard, only steps away from my studio. My neighbor, Geo, stopped by and said there was an impromptu Obama rally in progress. I grabbed my camera and went to see what was going on.

The Obama campaign office on Main Street in Historic Bethlehem couldn't contain the group that showed up for an event they had scheduled. Apparently they expected maybe 30 to 50 people. Instead hundreds arrived and the event was moved to the nearby courtyard.

I arrived at the courtyard just as Senator Bob Casey was introducing... Caroline Kennedy! She was poised and articulate and held the crowd in thrall. It was exciting and heartening to be part of the electricity of this gathering but the thought kept occurring to me that I was witnessing history. Of course, it was only a tiny sliver of the larger picture, a pivotal time I think we'll reference far in the future with a clear memory of where we were.

It's interesting that Caroline Kennedy is connected to another time when I clearly remember where I was. That was November 25, 1963 and though I was only three, I can still see my mother watching the television in tears. I clearly recall the crowds and the rider-less horse, but most of all, the dignity of the only family I'd ever think of as our royalty. And here, at this moment, was a woman whose entire life has been swathed in American legend.

It's fitting that this gathering took place at the Sun Inn Courtyard. This tiny piece of real estate has been the scene of public opinion, the most notorious being the Fries Rebellion. The 250-year-old Sun Inn has hosted some of the luminaries of the American Revolution, a meeting of the leading members of the Continental Congress, and a deputation of 51 Native American chiefs and warriors.

The guest list included:
• General George & Martha Washington
• General John Sullivan
• General John Armstrong
• General Nathanial Green
• General Marquis de Lafayette
• General Count Casimir Pulaski
• Surgeon General John Warren
• Dr. William Shippen
• Colonel Ethan Allen
• Governor John Penn
• Governor Richard Penn
• John Adams
• Samuel Adams
• John Hancock
• Richard Henry Lee
• Benjamin Harrison
• Governor Morris
• David Rittenhouse

And here in the present is the Sun Inn Courtyard, again witnessing another important moment of public expression in our history. Here I stand in with people on a beautiful Sunday afternoon- not just any crowd- but people who are passionate about our country, people who are trying to make a difference, listening to a woman whose beloved father helped shape our nation. It's hard not to be emotional about this, no matter what your political stripe.

It's been a contentious, protracted, and exhausting political season. At the end of the day, we're not red or blue, but Americans. Let's not lose sight of what's truly important: our future, our culture, and our responsibility to the global community. To that end, please exercise your right to vote today.

1 comment:

sparky said...

It's been a contentious, protracted, and exhausting political season

i wonder what the forefathers would think of it