Although we believe the special significance of this inauguration lies in the reaffirmation of elected constitutional government, we believe it has another special meeting. It marks the first full acceptance of the South, into the nation's political life in modern times. We have rarely seen this circumstance noted more eloquently than in the letter sent out by the Rev. Frank M. Ross, rector of All Saints Church in Atlanta, to his congregation earlier in the month. We are pleased to share it with you.
This weekend, including Sunday, the 16th, is a time of remembrance, celebration and thanksgiving, for the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His life among us was for most of us as a stranger, for some of us as an enemy, for all, as it turned out, the one who delivered us from the curse of segregation into the freedom of being with people as people. For better, for worse. It's hard for me to remember those old days of living two ways of being. My children have no thought of it. "Great God Almighty, we are free at last." I write that as a Christian. As an American I rejoice that the Constitution is more fulfilled.
Now next week we who carried that curse send one of ours to be President of the United States. It's been such a long time, and so much new life had to become for that to happen. Pray for him, pray for us, pray for our country. He and his are already suspect, not for what he says or does, even though that's the way it comes, but basically because of his native origins. I see it as a bit of irony. But then the Christian religion's understanding of history and people is full of irony. Pray for him, pray for us, pray for our country.