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As Long as We Remember...

November 4, 2004

A Time for Thanks

Derek Shackelford

The election of 2004 has been decided and President Bush has been reelected. As the evening hours passed on Tuesday night, there was much in the balance in Ohio.

Senator John Kerry initially wanted to challenge or extend the electoral process. So, I guess in terms of this quest for the presidency, this election is officially over and, maybe as a country, we can move forward.

This has definitely been a contentious election. At the same time, a bit of honesty needs to be realized. We are a country that is still divided. A house divided cannot stand. If this country does not come together, there will not be a need to focus on terrorism. The threat will come from inside.

Was this election a validation of President Bush's policies or a rejection of the challenger, John Kerry? We may truly never know.

As I sit writing this, I still do not know what the President' vision is for this country. Furthermore, I am even unclear of the challenger's vision.

On Tuesday morning at around 6 A.M., I left my house. I turned on the radio and heard Ray Charles' rendition of "America the Beautiful." The song started: "O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain."

I got a little teary eyed at that moment, because Ray Charles was blind and could not see all that.

I contemplated for a moment and thought. No matter who the president elected this day is, whether it is Mr. Bush or Senator Kerry, and with as much as both have commented on this war on terror, I don't trust either to keep me safe.

At that moment I listened to Mr. Charles more clearly as he sang on: "America, America, God shed his grace on thee."

I paused and thanked God for his grace.

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