Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Two Faces of Change in America - President-elect Barack Obama and Ann Nixon Cooper

This is a proud day in America. Regardless of whether you voted for McCain or Obama, I hope you share the joy this morning that the torch has been passed to a new generation of leadership. I was deeply moved as I listened to McCain's gracious concession speech. His heart-felt words set just the right tone, and were worthy of a man wo has served his country proudly for half a century.

I was even more moved by President-elect Obama's gracious, humble and watershed acceptance speech. I was in tears as he told us the story of Ann Nixon Cooper's trip to the polls in Georgia - a trek of 106 years and tens of thousands of painful steps taken in the dark double penumbras of racism and sexism. Much to my delight this morning, I learned that America's oldest voter has her own Website!

Here are some of the things I learned as I logged onto her site:

Ann Nixon Cooper, 106 years old, has seen presidents come and go in her lifetime and has outlived most of them. On a sunny fall morning, she left her weathered but well-kept Tudor home in Atlanta, Georgia, to vote early -- this time for Barack Obama.

Ann Nixon Cooper, 106 years old, lived during a time when blacks and women did not have the right to vote.

The African-American centenarian remembers a time not long ago when she was barred from voting because of her race. Now she hopes to see the day that Obama is elected as the nation's first black president.

"I ain't got time to die," Cooper said with a smile.

"Even if he didn't win, I was happy for him just to be nominated," said the former socialite. "The first black president -- isn't that something, at 106 years old?"

What a legacy!

What a country.

God bless America. Pray for our next President as he assembles the team that will help him to lead our nation to a return to greatness.


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