- Nov 22, 2003
this IS bi-partisan and moving. I may well read this to the kids next week about 'America'. From Times Square, to the Ford Funeral, to the swearing in of Ms. Pelosi:
...Why do they mass in Times Square and count the New Year in? There are no symposiums on this question, but I believe the answer is: to gather and mark something big beginning, to share a sense of expectation. If you had a bad year, it's over, change is on the way--"Five, four, three, two"--and if you had a good year you're on a roll--"one!"
They do it to start out on the right foot, with a cheer.
It's not just an event, it's a ceremony.
A few days later, the great state funeral of Gerald Ford. I didn't plan to watch it, but every time I saw it I couldn't stop. Why do we do this, dust off the pomp and circumstance and haul out the ruffles and flourishes? It's not only to mark a death, even of so respected and highly charged a figure as a former president. Why do network television chiefs and newspaper editors decide not to leave the story until it's over, even when from day one it seems stale?
Because it's not stale. We're renewing....
Praising these things reminds the old of what it is we should be aiming for each day, and instructs the young on the elements of a life well lived.
We do it to make the picture broader for a moment, and free ourselves of our cynicism. And we do it finally to enact what so many feel and rarely say, not only because it's corny but because if you mean it, it's beyond words...
nd so again we remind ourselves who we are. We "show an affirming flame." We are a great republic and a great democracy. We are a great nation and a great people. We peacefully--gracefully--pass power from one group to another. And we start this new time on the right foot, with a cheer.