Tomorrow is Election Day. My husband, many of my friends and, I’m sure, many of you, have already voted. But I will vote on Election Day. There’s just something about going to my community poling place to vote with my neighbors. We gather at a small elementary school, in its cafeteria, to cast our votes. I love seeing the retirees who run this poling place. They are patriots who take time out of their lives to come in before dawn and stay till well past sunset to make sure my neighbors and I can be part of the political process. These are retired businessmen, teachers, homemakers, and farmers. Pride glows on their faces as they greet us and demonstrate how to use the voting machines. Seeing them, happy to be there, fills me with pride. Pride that I live in a country where we have the privilege to elect those who serve in public office. Pride that although my great-grandmother wasn’t allowed to vote because she was a woman, I can. And I will. Always. I may not agree with what those running for office stand for, but at the end of the day, it’s not about that. It’s about appreciating the freedoms and rights that so many who came before me fought for. They fought not only for themselves, but for future generations. For me. My dad, my grandfathers, uncles, cousins, and others I don’t even know of. They fought for my freedom. I often wonder about the women in my family who sent their sons to war. Did they also fight or protest for the right to vote? If not, the other sisters who shared my gender stood for us all. I’m thankful for the sacrifices made. I’ll never forget them.
Tomorrow, I will go to that little elementary school that sits up on a hill, and I’ll go inside, privileged to be able to cast my vote. And after I do, I’ll walk outside, look at the mountains, and if I listen carefully, I just might hear freedom ring.