My President did this. There are times when I am ashamed to be an American. You may find that offensive, if so, blow me. Then there are other times when I feel like my chest is going to burst open with sheer, pure....something. There aren't any good words that tell you what that feels like. I like to think that every American feels that and knows what I mean. It's the same feeling I get every time I hear The Star Spangled Banner. I honestly can not watch or hear that song without tearing up.
I never understood what a Goddamn Awesome country we live in until I saw Washington and the Capitol for the first time. I was offered a Pageship when I was sixteen. I had no idea what it was until 2 months before I moved into the Page Dorm. It was offered to me when someone at another high school in the district turned it down because she didn't want to leave her boyfriend. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to her. I don't remember if I even knew her, but I am grateful. She gave me the chance to find out what I wanted to learn, history. I arrived in January for the Spring Semester. Reagan was President. Democrats controlled both Houses and had for thirty some years, if memory serves. I was sixteen living in a dorm two blocks from the Capitol. I was one of sixty six that semester. It continues to be one of the best five months of my life. It gave me an appreciation of what my parents' contribution was to this grand experiment our forefathers began. My father served for almost 30 years in the military. He worked on the Minuteman I think...he was the phone guy is what I remember. What I didn't know until I was in college is that every base we lived was on the first strike list. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I learned that in college after retirement. ( Did I mention I tend to ramble? My niece says I use too many words....)
Anyway, the Capitol is such a wonderful symbol of who we are as a nation. I look at that building and I feel as one with it. I guess that sounds weird to some but it's a spiritual thing for me. And over the last two years I have realized I would fight and kill and die for what that building represents. When I reflect on the past fifteen or thirty years and I see how there is disrespect for the House of Representatives by Members?! I get so angry and at the same time disappointed. Americans civil rights are being trampled upon for religious ideology by these same people. All the while they are professing this as an American ideal. So when I read last night that the Senate had finally done something that should have been done years ago, I was surprised. When I see that, finally, the United States Congress has fulfilled another piece of this experiment started by those men and women in the 18th century who spoke of all men being created equal and forming a more perfect union, I get that wonderful feeling all over again.
I continue to enjoy watching this President do almost everything he said he would. I am still waiting on the executive power stuff and Gitmo, but I am amazed and hopeful that I will see this President continue to do what he said he would. I don't know why he wanted the job, but I am glad he did. What President do you remember fulfilling most of his campaign promises? Maybe you didn't like the final result of some things, I know I didn't, but the man has done more in less than two years than any President in my lifetime. And give credit to the 111th Congress, Nancy Pelosi (love her or hate her, the woman did a hell of a job) and Harry Reid (thank god Nevadans didn't send Angle). I'm proud to be an American today.
Here is the statement from President Obama
Today, President Obama released a statement on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. Today's historic vote would not have happened without the tireless efforts of many, including leaders in Congress, advocates, and the clear leadership provided by the President. As recently as this morning, the President has been reaching out to Senators from both sides of the aisle to help secure votes. It was only 11 months ago that the President called for the repeal in his first State of the Union and then laid out the plan, including the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review for the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, that has taken us to where we are today.
Here's the President's full statement:
Today, the Senate has taken an historic step toward ending a policy that undermines our national security while violating the very ideals that our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend. By ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love.
I want to thank Majority Leader Reid, Senators Lieberman and Collins and the countless others who have worked so hard to get this done. It is time to close this chapter in our history. It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed. It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly. I urge the Senate to send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.
update: I have to thank my friend FCTileman for the picture of the President at the top, thanks!