by Richard Wade
I was the very first person in line when my polling place opened this morning.
I couldn’t wait. I wanted to be a part of history. I wanted to read in a history book years from now about the pivotal moment that Americans seized today, and be able to remember that that was me, right up there in front. While waiting for the election officials to open the door, stray lines from the St. Crispian’s Day Speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V drifted through my mind:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day.
Now, I certainly don’t pretend to be a hero with a sword in my hand, but for the first time in a very long time I feel very strongly that I have been a part of a moment in time that will divide what was before from what will be since. Not just a passive witness or a helpless victim, but a participant.
My friends, the polls are not closed as of this writing, so I am teetering between apprehension and anticipation. Whichever way our ship of state steers, at this moment before we perhaps sail to new horizons or perhaps strike an iceberg, I thank you for your comforting company, I salute you for your earnest effort, and I wish for you a safe journey.
And if you haven’t voted yet, get a thermos, a coat and a folding chair and go out and be the ten thousandth one in line, and be just as much a part of this moment as I am.