Thanksgiving 2014 has arrived in America. And all is not happy on the home front. Far from it in fact. We were reminded again this week just how far we have yet to come in the critical area of race relations. Although our criminal justice system is one that is dominated by ever-changing and interlocking shades of gray, Monday night demonstrated once again that far too many of us see only white or only black. Having elevated color to a standing above "right" and "wrong", many on opposite sides of the debate reacted angrily, yet predictably, to the news out of middle America. The more we change, the more it seems we stay the same.
This past Saturday, the 22nd of November, was the fifty-first anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Had President Kennedy not been murdered on the streets of Dallas that afternoon, he would have given an address that evening at a dinner in Austin, Texas. Presidential historian Michael Beschloss - a man whose brain would have to be considerably smaller than it is to fit inside of my head - posted to his Twitter account on Saturday the final couple of paragraphs from President Kennedy's never-delivered remarks.
You may choose - as I did - to read them aloud (even if only to yourself) so that you experience them in the manner in which they were originally intended to be experienced. And when you do, you may ask yourself, as I have on more than one occasion after reading them, whether what President Kennedy was prepared to say that night, fifty-one Novembers ago, does not in fact resonate across the canyons of time and have as much bearing on life now as it did upon life then...
Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone but to the nation and, indeed, to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel among ourselves when our Nation's future is at stake.
Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause - - united in our heritage of the past and in our hopes for the future - - and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.
A worthwhile thought for any given Thursday. Especially so on Thanksgiving.
May you and yours enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving...
...and an equally safe and happy tomorrow.