Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
We are living in the midst of history this week.
On Monday, January 19,
"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will all be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
On January 19, president-elect Barack Obama, one day before he would take the oath of office as the forty-fourth president of the United States, stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, looked out at the huge crowd gathered on the Washington Mall, and proclaimed these words:
"What gives me hope is what I
I look out across this mall. For in these monuments are chisled those
stories that affirm our unyielding faith—a faith that anything is
Reflective and with gratitude in
he further stated, as he looked at the tall spire of the
"Rising before us stands a monument to a man who led a small band of farmers and shopkeepers in revolution against the army of an empire, all for the sake of an idea."
That idea was freedom, winning against great odds the right to self-government in a free nation. The price was phenomenal. The rewards since have been extraordinary.
The idea George Washington and
contemporaries held was that, indeed, "anything is possible in
Seeing the more-recently erected World War II monument in the Mall, Barack Obama said of it:
"(Here stands) a tribute to a generation that withstood war and depression, men and women like my grandparents who toiled on bomber assembly lines and marched across Europe to free the world from tyranny's grasp."
Then, looking at the statue of the Great Emancipator, Obama paid this tribute to President Abraham Lincoln:
"Watching over the
This appeal rang out:
"Remember their struggles. Remember the thread that binds us together in common effort, that runs through every memorial on this Mall. (All offer a lesson) that there is no obstacle that can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change."
In this week of momentous
and challenge, my prayer is one of remembrance and thanksgiving for my
ancestors who were patriots in the American Revolution, who were
give their very lives for
But my prayers today will be
thanksgiving for past achievements. I will earnestly pray for
the new president and his cabinet, for vision, purpose and guidance for
"one nation under God." God's smile on
The words of the 44th president
We pray that all citizens will
in their faith. Lying at the heart of the dream are responsibility and
cooperation. These are inherent to the dream that "anything is possible
c2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 22, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Updated August 13, 2009