As I was driving to a show tonight, my favorite Christmas carol came on the radio - "Oh Holy Night" My preferred version is Pavarotti's but this was a still stirring rendition by Josh Groban.
I happened to be thinking of Iraq as the song came on.... of their elections, of how a new future was beginning for them, their smiles as they showed each other and cameramen newly purpled fingers And with the lyrics to the song playing in the background, I nearly broke down in tears from sudden realization and emotion.
Tonight, the stars must look ever so bright in the deserts of Iraq. Mothers and Fathers are looking up with a fullness of the events of the day. They took part in their government! They chose their representatives in parliament. They had a hand in the future of their country, their lives, and the lives of their children.
For the first time in their lives, they are realizing the worth of their souls, and their very existence as human beings. No longer are they the unworthy servants of a tyrannical master. They are worthy of choosing the path of their own country. They are free human beings with incalculable worth.
The thrill of hope is coursing through their veins. They now have a hope they have never known. Until this point, the future was what the master dictated, and if that included your child being torn apart in front of you while you watched - just because of a suspicion or whim of Uday, Qusay, or Saddam's... so be it. No longer! Now each Iraqi has a hope to change his world for the better.
A very weary Iraq... weary of conflict, of fear, of hopelessness, of helplessness... weary of the pessimistic reality of their existence now rejoices for yonder DOES break a new and glorious morn! Many Iraqis have danced today, have cried with happiness, have shouted with joy, have braved possible harm or death and voted proudly, defiantly... and tonight will fall to their knees thanking Allah for the opportunity that has been given to them.
As they face Mecca and pray, they may very well hear the voice of Michael relaying to them God's joyful praise, "well done my good and faithful servant."
Tonight in Baghdad, in Basra, in Tikrit, in Rhamadi, in Fallujia, and all the cities, towns and hovels of Iraq, Iraqis are truly recognizing the blessings of this night...
This night divine!