Monday, November 03, 2008

Never Give In

As we near the end of this marathon election campaign, some folks are feeling a bit discouraged. Perhaps they've been reading too many polls or paying too close attention to news stories that are trying to coronate Senator Obama before votes have been cast.

I am quite optimistic about the outcome of the election tomorrow. I expect by the time the day is over there will be a number of unexpected surprises.

As Election Day has drawn closer I have been thinking a lot about a famous speech given by Sir Winston Churchill. Part of it will be no doubt familiar but it is worth quoting at length. The speech was given on October 29, 1941 at Harlow School, a prominent prep school in England. Remember that Britain was already at war with Germany but the United States had not yet been brought into the conflict. This paragraph is probably at least somewhat familiar:

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period - I am addressing myself to the School - surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

It's an amazing statement given the almost insurmountable odds that the British faced at that point in the war. They had no idea that America would soon join the fight. It looked at that time as if the situation was utterly hopeless. But it is the close of the speech that is perhaps the best part:

Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

Tomorrow we will make history regardless of which ticket is elected to the highest office in the land. My hope and prayer is that Senator McCain and Governor Palin will emerge victorious. It's now up to each one of us to go out and vote tomorrow and make sure that happens.

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