Land of Hope and Dreams

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It’s funny how a little thing like a hurricane (or two) will set you off stride. But here it is the first week of November and the memories of Gustav are fading …mostly because once again we got bupkus for help from FEMA so we don’t have a ton of those pesky governement forms to fill out.  Last weekend was Halloween and the town was jumping, especially Frenchmen Street in the Marigny which was a non stop costume display until the dawns early light.

And today brings a new era of promise and vitality to the nation. I was 10 when JFK was elected. I grew up in a neighberhood where literally every family on the block had a WWII vet living in it.  I remember how Kennedy energized those men and their families: he understood what they had gone through with the first hand horrors of war and he spoke to them in terms they understood about giving back, about starting to fix things on your street first, about working together to make things better for everyone. About the US being a land of opportunity. And that’s all those men wanted, was just a chance. No gaurantees, no free rides, just a shot at making things a little bit better for their children than they had grown up with themselves.

Now the torch passes once again to a new generation. The digital generation which Obama understands and used in an electronic grass roots campaign that literally swept through the country like a fresh wind.  He energized my son and his friends, all first time voters and their generation turned out in record numbers.

And so once again we are the land of opportunity. Obamas words last night sounded like the anthem for my fathers generation: Americans don’t quit, Americans don’t whine, Americans aren’t bad losers and worse winners … we’re all just trying to make things a little bit better for the next generation and together we can all do that. Yes we can.

So maybe Woodys song would have been a good fit for the Obama campaign: this land IS your land. And The Rising isn’t a bad choice: rebirth and hope from the ashes of an immense national tragedy. But I like this one by Bruce the best …. it just seems to say who we are …. all of us.

Big wheels roll through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreamsThis train
Carries saints and sinners
This train
Carries losers and winners
This Train
Carries whores and gamblers
This Train
Carries lost souls
This Train
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singin’
This Train
Bells of freedom ringin’
This Train
Carries broken-hearted
This Train
Thieves and sweet souls departed
This Train
Carries fools and kings
This Train
All aboard

This Train
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singin’
This Train
Bells of freedom ringin’

 

 

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One Response to Land of Hope and Dreams

  1. Gayle O'Connor says:

    Can’t stop the tears…my heart is full.

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