Sunday, January 27, 2013

Section of Inaugural Address, part 2

"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else, under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.
Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.
Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.
That is our generation's task, to make these works, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.."

The repetition the phrasing "Our journey is not complete until...." is reminiscent of another person who gave a repetitively worded speech:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
Dr. King, of course, had the cadence the preacher that he was. President Obama had his own hope-infused cadence. They both used the repetitive pattern to reinforce the importance each placed on this section of his speech. Dr. King spoke of a dream he had, a dream that President Obama's presidency visually fulfills. President Obama also speaks to the future ~ perhaps one he will attain, or perhaps one he will pass on to a future generation for completion.

I share their hopes.

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