August 20, 2004
Speech at Robert Frost's Farm in Derry, New Hampshire
by Granny "D"
Robert Frost is connected to that strong spiritual and ethical river that flows through Whitman and Hawthorne, Melville, Cather, Dickinson, Clemens, Wilder, Muir, Douglas, Foster, Gershwin, Joplin, Sousa, and the almost countless others who were charmed and inspired by the musical words of our Founding Fathers and of our great and eloquent Native American leaders.
And from these voices onward, up to our own time and through the eloquence of Bernstein, Cohen, Copland, Ellington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Capra, Ginsburg, Pete Seeger, Ansel Adams and so many others of the modern era's great minds and writers, an idea for who we are and who we want to be as Americans has been shaped in our hearts.
We want to be a just and honorable people, trustees of a beautiful land and gardeners of a great democracy. We want to be a fiercely free people--good providers to each other and good neighbors to our townsmen and to the other people of the world.
This American spirit is an ideal that defines not only who we are to ourselves, but to the rest of the world in how they want to think of us. It is what they love about us, and they do.
And despite all our hard times, our wars, our depressions, our genocides, our suppressions and oppressions, our experience with slavery itself, we still stand at the edge of woods dark and deep with our future ahead of us and this dream still in our hearts. We still are perched at Half Dome Rock and along the grasses of the Hudson and the forests of the misty Olympic Peninsula and in the mud of the Mississippi at Hannibul. It is still a most beautiful country filled with most wonderful people. And we are still young.
Yet we have come to a new time. We and our natural world are poised now at a parting of the road. One path leads where powerful nations have gone before. It is the road of silver and blood--the short, noisy road of empire. The other is a path no great nation has taken before. The only way we can take this less traveled road it to blow the ashes off the still living fire of our American Revolution--where the people naturally rise against great and oppressive forces and reassert the human heart, human freedom and our highest values as a people.
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