Our *other* independence day

22Sep09

Do you think our country is divided now? Imagine what our forefathers must have been thinking on this day in 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

His decision pitted brothers against each other, and caused the most destructive domestic war our country has even known. Yet, when viewed through history’s hindsight—in spite of all the loss and destruction and enmity—it’s clear that Lincoln made the right choice.

That’s the difficult thing about progress, and about making choices: Often, you can only appreciate the wisdom (or folly) of your decisions by looking back.

Although the issues we face today aren’t as sweeping as those in 1862, I still wonder: With the benefit of history’s hindsight, what will our great-grandchildren think of us?



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