Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1521: It was an unforgettable week!

  It was a series of unforgettable moments. The moments were cast over four days. Each day had multiple unforgettable moments. Each day was unforgettable in its own way. Each day built on the previous day. For me, it was up close and personal.

  Day One. First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech was unforgettable. She spoke so beautifully and powerfully. She touched something deep inside of me that exploded throughout my being. I was moved to tears. She calmed and lifted the convention waters. She set extremely high standards for the speakers to follow.

  The First Lady was truly unforgettable. She wove a spellbinding web of heartfelt history, high hopes, personal philosophy and lifting language. I was not the only one moved mightily. I felt the whole crowd in the Wells Fargo Arena being moved. I believe that much of the country was moved.

  Senator Bernie Sanders was unforgettable. He spoke with passion and conviction. He lifted issues he had lifted so many times before. However, there was one thing different from his many previous speeches: He said we must elect Secretary Hillary Clinton as President of these United States of America. Elizabeth Warren was unforgettable in her own unique way. There were many other speakers of note on Day One, but we do not have the space to lift them all.

  Day Two. President Bill Clinton was unforgettable. He spoke in a profoundly personal way. He began, “I met this girl....” It was a love story. It was a service story. It was a family story. It was an overcoming story. The story had details I had never heard before that framed a life of preparation and achievement.

  The nomination for president was unforgettable. I followed every word and every vote. I knew what the outcome would be, but I was still caught up in the drama of the moment. A spirit was loose in the place. It built and built and built.

  This history being made was unforgettable. This country was conceived and birthed 240 years ago. The soaring language of the Declaration of Independence, which states, “all men are created equal,” inspired people all over the world. Yet, it took this country 143 years to provide women the right to vote. Then it took nearly 100 additional years for a woman to be nominated as the presidential standard bearer of a major political party. This long stretch of years ended on this night with the nomination of Secretary Hillary Clinton. We were not just witnessing history; we were helping make history with our votes. There were many other speakers of note on Day Two.

  Day Three. President Barack Obama’s speech was unforgettable. He lifted us high with his big vision, his profound analysis, his lifting words. He said, “There has never been a man or woman – not me, not Bill – more qualified to serve as President!” History had already been made, but President Obama called for the ultimate moment of this history:  the election of Secretary Hillary Clinton as the first woman to be President.

  Vice President Joe Biden was unforgettable. He has a style completely different from the President but very effective in its own way. I could feel the love and respect they have for each other.  The Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine also spoke and accepted the nomination. There was no history made, for every major party Vice President but two have been male. Still, it added to the moment’s being unforgettable.

  Day Four. This day was unforgettable for different reasons. I looked at the lineup of speakers and decided in my mind that it would not be a particularly unforgettable day. I was wrong. Two persons not listed on the list changed all that.  The first, Rev. William Barber of North Carolina, was unforgettable. He preached a powerful sermon in a few minutes. Afterward, some called him “America’s Preacher.” Then, Khizr Khan, a Muslim immigrant who had lost his son in the military service, spoke. His speech was very short but very powerful. His impact was truly electric. It may have been the single most electric moment. It was unforgettable.

  Finally, Secretary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for President. It completed the moment of history. It was unforgettable. She closed out the speeches, covering a lot of ground. The speech met this moment of history. It was all unforgettable.

  There were so many other unforgettable moments. Unforgettable moments make unforgettable events. The four day convention was such an unforgettable event.

EPILOGUE – Most of us don’t have a whole lot of unforgettable moments in a lifetime. To have a bunch of such moments over a four day period is truly unforgettable. Last week was an unforgettable week for me.

  About the author: Hank Sanders represents Senate District 23 in the Alabama Legislature.

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