Dixie Peach: Mark This Day

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Mark This Day

I've always been crazy about museums. Museums are among my favorite places in the world to be. I feel fortunate to have lived for many years outside of Washington, DC where I could often visit the Smithsonian and other museums in the city. I've seen the dinosaur bones and the giant bush elephant and the Hope diamond at the museum of natural history. I've seen the Spirit of St. Louis and the Bell X-1 aircraft that Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier with and a moon rock at the Air and Space Museum. At the National Gallery of Art I've seen exhibits by Georgia O'Keefe, Rodin, the old masters of Europe including Rembrandt and Vermeer and when I was a teenager I saw the treasures of the tomb of Tutankhamun the first time it toured the United States.

My favorite museum is the National Museum of American History. No matter how many times I visited it, I never grew tired of seeing its exhibits. All aspects of American history are shown there from America's earliest days to inclusions of modern pop culture icons. It all tells the story of who we are as a people. When I'd view representations of the American story I would think, "This is me. All of this makes up who I am. I am descended from these people. I'm here because of an ancestor who fought in the Revolution. I come from people who arrived on the shores of America and eventually moved further west and south. My forefathers survived the Civil War and endured Reconstruction. The farmed the land, they fought in wars, they worked to make their dreams come true. They are history. I am a result of that history. We are all a result of that history. It was their lives but it became their legacy and put us on the paths of our destinies. I am so proud to be from these poeple,".

And today as Americans choose their next president it is impossible to ignore that history is going to be made today. We're either going to have our first African-American president or we're going to have the first woman as Vice President. We're doing something that may have seemed impossible or even unthinkable to our ancestors. But we're also doing something that is going to be remembered by us until the end of our days and will be remembered by those who descend from us. One day they may look at a museum exhibit representing today's election and think "This is my history. I come from the people who made this happen and I am proud to be from these people,".

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Anonymous Becky said...

This is just lovely. I was so moved by it but then realized I didn't write you and tell you just that.

3:32 AM  

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