I went to college in 1968. Witin a year or so, a fellow in one of my classses left town for a while and went down south to march for civil rights. I can’t remember his name, but I remember what he looked like so well, a big guy with red hair, and shining eyes. When he came back, he had been beaten and was scared and his eyes weren’t so shiny — he seemed uncertain that his efforts and his caring and his trying and his suffering would make any difference at all.

If he’s still alive, i hope he was at Mile High Stadium in Denver last Thursday, or was watching it on tv. 45 years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, tens of thousands of people (including me) wept as Barack Obama accepted the Democratic party’s nomination. I thought of my college acquaintance, and all those people who fought and sometimes died so that America would do the right thing. I can only thank you.