Why I will March in Washington, DC on January 21st, 2017:
In this time, I am reminded of Lincoln's closing remarks in the Gettysburg address: "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
This nation has faced many points where its citizens had to take a moment, take a breath and determine if we would continue with this great task, handed to us by too many honored dead. I believe we are again at such a moment. I believe that everything we purport to hold dear is under attack. Our right to speak is at risk. Our right to love is at risk. Our right to worship is at risk. Our right to self-determination. Our right to justice. To equality. To vote. To the truth.
The United States of America has long been a beacon to the rest of the world. When total darkness threatened mankind with vile hatred and wanton destruction, we were the light that beat it back. Every day, some one makes the decision to gamble everything so that they might come to our shores and, one day, be called a citizen of America. They want to live in the light. They want to add to it. People have been taking this risk for two hundred and forty years now. I refuse to let the light dim.
I believe that, in Lincoln’s vision of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” he saw a government that was a reflection of its people. A government that stood to protect everything its citizenry was willing to die for. I refuse to let the world think, to let future generations think that this incoming government is a reflection of who we are.
I will take the words of Lincoln with me to Washington. And the words of Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The consent of the governed. I want this incoming government to know where my consent stands.
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