Thursday, August 28, 2008

Making History

Almost every news outlet has noted the historic nature of this date, August 28, both for today and 45 years ago.

[August 28, 1963 -- March on Washington for Civil Rights]

And tonight, in Denver, CO, Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination to be the Democratic Presidential candidate for 2008.

[The convention is moving to Invesco field where they estimate more than 70,000 will be in attendance]

I think it would be easy to think that in a blog post titled "Making History" that I'm talking about Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama as the ones who are making history.

[Obama at a campaign stop in Texas]

But these are just two men, albeit two effective and inspiring leaders. But still, they are just two men. However, what you need to look at are the crowds. Look at the people who gathered on the Washington mall 45 years ago. And look at the crowds gathered in the rain in Texas.

Although there's a 45 year gap, the crowds are remarkably similar in their attentive focus, in their diversity, and in the conviction and desire of these people to gather together to make history. Because history doesn't get made by individuals alone. History is made through completely mundane acts, such as someone taking the time to show up and listen to a civil rights leader speak in our nation's capital. Or a U.S. citizen taking the time to become a delegate and to attend the DNC in Denver. Or for an average American on November 4 to get in his/her car or walk to her/his local polling station and casting a vote.

Maybe history books won't record the average person who goes to the polling booth. But it's important to remember that neither Martin Luther King Jr. nor Barack Obama would be making history if it weren't for the millions of people who helped to make history happen in their own small ways.

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