Saturday, April 19, 2014

Legislators right to invite Obama to Gettysburg

February 20. 2013 3:40AM
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Cheers to Pennsylvania‚??s two senators, Democrat Bob Casey Jr. and Republican Pat Toomey, as well as to U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-York and Adams counties, for inviting President Barack Obama to speak at a ceremony in Gettysburg to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

It‚??s heartening to see a bipartisan invitation at a time when Republicans and Democrats can barely agree on the color of the sky (‚??It‚??s blue!‚?Ě ‚??No, it‚??s gray!‚?Ě).

Granted, as bipartisan gestures go, this one is pretty simple and obvious.

Yes, of course the president should speak at this event -- especially this president.

He is America‚??s first black chief executive -- a historic milestone that would not have been possible without the conviction and the deeds of the president who made that eloquent speech commemorating the sacrifices of so many in the war of secession.

He is also, as it happens, a former senator from the ‚??land of Lincoln.‚?Ě

Perhaps some have made too much of those parallels, but the symbolism is nonetheless compelling.

The successful result of that war over slavery, a century and a half later, is the free election (twice!) of a president who in the 19th-century South - even just a few miles south of us, across the Mason-Dixon Line in Maryland -- would have been in chains.

Indeed, President Obama must be in Gettysburg Nov. 19 to help celebrate the evolution (albeit it far too slowly) of this nation‚??s racial history.

We urge him to accept the invitation.

Kudos to Rep. Perry -- a very conservative Republican -- for joining the senators in inviting a Democratic president to speak in Gettysburg.

Now, let this bipartisan gesture be more than just symbolic as Perry‚??s Congress and the president get to work on the difficult, divisive issues that lie ahead.

York Daily Record

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