Hope Unafraid

by
Abby Zimet

Celebrating their shared belief that "our lives are what we make of them",
President Obama tonight awarded the Medal of Freedom to 16 luminaries and
"agents of change," including Edward Kennedy, Sidney Poitier,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and, posthumously, Harvey Milk. See the full
list here.

"His name was Harvey Milk. And he was here to recruit us, all of us, to
join a movement and change a nation. For much of his early life he had
silenced himself. In the prime of his life he was silenced by the act
of another. But in the brief time in which he spoke and ran and led,
his voice stirred the aspirations of millions of people. He would
become, after several attempts, one of the first openly gay Americans
elected to public office. And his message of hope, hope unashamed, hope
unafraid, could not ever be silenced. It was Harvey who said it best:
You gotta give 'em hope."

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