NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 13, 2012

A privilege to vote as an American

Many people went to the polls last week for different reasons. I went to celebrate my hard-earned privilege to be an American. It literally is “earned,” as I was not naturalized as a citizen until age 18. And to be American is to be free. Free from reprisal, conflict and prejudice to offer an opinion. Free to worship or not to worship. Free to pursue happiness.

Dr. Martin Luther King spoke these words on Aug. 18, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, as he yearned for all people to be free at the most elementary level, and that is with an abundance of tolerance and human dignity.

“ ... and when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

Voting is a sacred duty from those who can exercise it to those who sacrificed so much to preserve it. When we vote, we honor those before us who made the event possible. The immigrants who shed all ties to their homeland, from veterans who endured the horrors of war and those who gave their lives for our country, from those who serve in our churches, community centers, hospices and countless other places where engagement of hands to help others is quietly conducted.

When we vote we honor our firefighters, police officers and those in uniform all around the world who preserve the status of our security from foes both in and out of our country. We also cherish doctors, care givers, business owners and public servants who define the quality of our well-being. We acknowledge working men and women of all professions and trades that make our economy vibrant.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Serious Flash Flooding in Arizona Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment Breaking: Officials release name of police officer in Ferguson shooting Man Shot As Protesters Defy Curfew in Ferguson Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Back Together for Two ‘Secret’ Dates
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans