Sunday, February 18, 2007

Celebrating Freedom

Today is President's Day, formerly known as Lincoln's Birthday. Lincoln, "The Great Emancipator", is strongly associated with the concepts of freedom and equality. I'm happy to celebrate his birthday.

It was a profound experience to visit the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. last October, to read his words etched in stone there, and to see how, in every crisis of our nation's history since Lincoln, his powerful thoughts remain a relevant prod to our national conscience.

My sister and I stood in front of his great statue and looked straight ahead, to view what his eyes unblinkingly regard at the other end of the great Mall: the United States Capital, the building on top of Capital Hill which houses the legislative powers of our country.

Oh how I would that his eyes, like great beacons of truth, should sternly remind each and every member of the House and the Senate of their awesome responsibilities to their country, to continue to defend and nourish the freedom and liberty for which so many have bled and died.

I think of today as Freedom Day, and I shall spend it enjoying the freedom I have as an American woman.

The majority of women, in most times of history and still in certain countries to this day, are denied freedom, in the same way that slaves were in Lincoln's time. They are told the same excuses -- that they are better off being 'taken care of', and that if they had freedom they'd be in danger as if they were clueless children, and that it is God who dictates their subservience. It wasn't true of blacks then and it isn't true of women now. But oppressors will always find ways to justify themselves in their own eyes.

I give thanks to all those who struggled to make women free and equal citizens and continue to hope for my sisters still in bondage, that they too may obtain freedom and equality.

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