Wednesday, July 04, 2012

On This Occasion, Let Us Remember Those Who Have Fought, Sacrificed and Died For Our Freedoms:

A. Philip Randolph; Alex Odeh; Alice Paul; Amelia Boynton Robinson; Andrew Young Jr.; Barnett Slepian; Bayard Rustin; Bernard Lafayette; Betty Friedan; C.T. Vivian; Cesar Chavez; Charles Evers; Charles Morgan Jr.; Charles Sherrod; Clara Luper; Claude Black; Claudette Colvin; Coretta Scott King; Crystal Eastman; Daisy Bates; David Gunn; Diane Nash; Dolores Huerta; Don Bolles; Dorothy Cotton; Edgar Nixon; Eizabeth Peratrovich; Elijah P. Lovejoy; Elizabeth Cady Stanton; Ella Baker; Eugene Debs; Fannie Lou Hamer; Franklin Kameny; Fred Shuttlesworth; George Moscone; George Tiller; Gloria Steinem; Gordon Hirabayashi; Harvey Milk; Hosea Williams; Humberto Noe Corona; Ida B. Wells; Jack Herer; James Bevel; James Farmer; James Forman; James Lawson; James Orange; James T Meredith; Jo Ann Robinson; John Britton; John L. Lewis; Joseph Lowery; Judy Shepard; Julian Bond; Julius Wilson Hobson; June Jordan; Lola Hendricks; Lucy Burns; Lucy Stone; Madalyn Murray O'Hair; Malcolm X; Mamie Till Bradley Mobley; Marie Foster; Martin Luther King Jr.; Marvel Cooke; Medgar Evers; Myles Horton; Nellie Stone Johnson; Prathia Hall; Ralph Abernathy; Robert F. Williams; Robert Hill; Robert Moses; Roger Baldwin; Rosa Parks; Roy Wilkins; Ruby Hurley; Samuel Gompers; Susan B.Anthony; T.R.M. Howard; Thomas C. Wales; W. E. B. Du Bois; Walter Francis White; Walter Nelles; William S. McIntosh; Wyatt Tee Walker.

This is a brief and cursory list of those brave individuals, who without color of uniform, power of authority or compulsion of force, have placed themselves in harm's way to expand the promise contained in our founding documents—The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution.

It always has been, and always will be, individuals who risk everything to expand the scope of rights we enjoy. Civil Rights are not zero-sum; rights expanded for one are rights expanded for all.

We need to take a moment and think with awe, respect and gratitude about those brave people who stopped and turned among the teeming mob and said "Enough. This cannot stand; We must change."

And while many are renowned for their efforts on behalf of a single cause, it is heartening to see how many worked across boundaries to expand the rights of all. Apparently "A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats" does not simply apply to 'supply-side economics.' This is how it should be.

We will remember what you have done and what you have sacrificed, with gratitude.