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Windsor, Connecticut

Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

 

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope …” Robert F. Kennedy.

 

With one of the most crucial presidential elections our nation has ever been asked to decide but days away, this quote from Robert F. Kennedy has been on my mind. Ever the idealist, I still believe in the power of tiny ripples of hope.

 

In this most famous portion of what has become known as his “Ripple of Hope” speech, Kennedy went on to say “and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance”. Kennedy delivered the speech in South Africa in 1966, during the “worst of Apartheid” and a government media ban on some anti-Apartheid activists, notes http://www.npr.org. 

 

A government media ban. Words that are appalling, and should be frightening in this great country of ours, the United States of America. Our nation was built on central principles such as freedom of the press, religion and expression. For years as a newspaper reporter, I have covered Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies and 9/11 remembrance ceremonies where those great principles were exalted. Men and women of  the U.S. military – some in my own family – have sacrificed and fought, given their lives to protect and preserve those principles.

 

Major Oliver Elwyn "Bunker" Generous.

Major Oliver Elwyn “Bunker” Generous.

This nation has stood time and time again against the forces of evil, and for good. Two of my uncles served during World War II. As it was told to me, my Uncle Bunker was a WWII fighter pilot and after the war he went on to fly cover for numerous Berlin Airlift missions. Each fight, each mission, representing a tiny ripple of hope.

 

We must not doubt the strength of one vote to carry on the current of hope the U.S. has long symbolized. Our Republic was founded amidst overwhelming odds.  Despite differences of opinion and policy, we have continued to stand together “one Nation under God”. A beacon of political civility to the world, after the tallies were counted we have carried on with a peaceful transition of power.

 

Vote on Tuesday, November 8. Send forth a tiny ripple of hope.