The speeches were centered on the realization that we are standing on the shoulders of our ancestors who fought for the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams for change. Though some of these ancestors are not alive today to see how far we've come, hope gave birth to change and the change is only just begun.
One of my favorite moments at this event was the excerpt from Trustee Vernon Jordan's Rankin Chapel Address that says, "...if you stand on the shoulders of others, you have a reciprocal responsibility to live your life so that others may stand on your shoulders. It's the quid pro quo of life."
It was exciting to see the reactions of the attendees, as if that which is known to them took a whole new meaning that day. That may have been so, because sometimes we fail to act on that which we know to be true until we gain a new perspective towards it. I gained a new perspective that day.
Dr. Derise Tolliver ended the event with a speech, imploring us to go out and become the "change we hope to see" and at the same time, celebrating the lives of those on whose shoulders we stand.
I have a video coverage of part of this event and hope to download it to the blog tomorrow using a mac pc. Please stay tuned...