I haven’t written in a few days, still reflecting on Dick Cheney’s Imperial Vice Presidency.
But today is July 4, 2007. And that gives cause for celebration, and pause. So much to celebrate, and so much has been lost over the past few years. We’ve seen the erosion of our Civil Rights. We’ve witnessed attempts to kill Habeaus Corpus. And we fight a war we simply cannot win, ever.
But we celebrate, and we should.
There is a very good story in today’s New York Times, A Country’s Past Unearthed, and Comes Into Focus. The article concerns an excavation going on in Philadelphia near Independence Hall. The finding is a mansion where George Washington and John Adams once lived. The building served as this nation’s first Executive Mansion while the White House was under construction.
But there is another reason to excavate, “The site, which is adjacent to the Liberty Bell Center, was found to be above the mansion’s living quarters for nine household slaves that Washington brought here from Mount Vernon.”
Another very complex circumstance from our nation’s genesis. Founded on freedom, with the right to keep slaves – up north, in Philadelphia.
But it’s the comments of two gentlemen observing the excavation that caught my eye this morning, and this one comment gives me hope in the face of all of the cover-ups that have occurred over the past 6 years:
Two other Philadelphians, Bill Hempsey, 78, a retiree who is white, and Wayne Gibbons, 58, a doctor who is black, stood at the edge of the excavation, listening intently.
“It’s part of history, and it’s been underground,” Mr. Hempsey remarked.
Dr. Gibbons said, “Truth buried will at some point rise,” and added, “Independence Day is something to celebrate, but in the context of understanding the price paid for freedom.”
The men, who had met for the first time only minutes earlier, ended their conversation shaking hands.
“Truth buried will at some point rise.”
And happy 4th to all.