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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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November 2010 Election: The legacy of exercising the right to vote

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Robin Foster, November 2, 2010
I have more reasons to be grateful than I can count.  Perhaps these feelings can be attributed to all the research and writing I have been doing lately on the Reconstruction Era.  On my way to the polls today, I thought back on  the testimonies that I have read given by my great great grandfather, Beverly Vance (1899-1832) and others.  I was so overcome with gratitude to be living in a country where I can make my own choices.

Tears almost welled up as I remembered that this type of freedom had not always been enjoyed by my ancestors, and women were denied the right even longer.  I could feel Beverly looking down on me pleased that I was not having to look over my shoulder to see who was watching or worried that I would be harassed.

I have never felt these impressions in this way on other election days.  Casting your vote for a person of your choosing truly is an expression of gratitude for past sacrifices and symbolic of the freedoms we hold dear.  I am glad to have happened on historical records documenting my ancestor in his struggle for the freedoms I enjoy.

After I completed the ballot and turned to leave, their stood a friend and we exchanged a warm hug.  This was again a complete contrast to the way things were in 1868 and in 1876.  How we have progressed.

I love The United States of America, and I particularly love South Carolina.  I am walking in the footsteps of many of my maternal ancestors who were born, worked, and died in this state.  Today I  carved out more memories for my posterity to cherish.

See:

Remembering when casting a vote could have meant loss of property or life

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