Before the US election of 2016, I had been paying attention to what happens in the US through various media sources. This was not only because US was (at least until recently) our shining example of global best practices in democracy; not because the world craved to have the freedom and liberty that is (was) in America before now, not because in our thoughts and minds, America was the greatest; “the land of the free, and the home of the brave”, BUT majorly because, through my active engagements in projects funded by USAID, I spend the greater numbers of my professional life, teaching others about the values of America and the good it represents.
So, what happens in US interests me as it was one of the biggest donors of development funds. I work in the development sector (NGO). The world watched in amazement at the election of 2016 and has remained horrified ever since. Every news item mattered. And all through these years, the face and fights of Honorable Congressman Elijah Cummings had remained constant in my alert. I came to respect him from the distance and looked forward to his comments and controversies. Like everyone else, I was told of his passing away.
Here is a great man leaving us to our “global mess”. It is tough and the landscape of political rascality and defense of democracy will not remain the same. The world lost an important and courageous fighter. We lost one who had honor, one who would not lie. This is indeed a monumental loss for the Congress, for US, for lovers of freedom and indeed the entire political spaces of the world. I wonder who will fill up his shoes now. We will miss him, but his good works and belligerent fights for liberty will endure.
While it is senseless to wallow in self-inflicted pity for a man who had gone to join his God (rather I have to worry about when and how my own end will come), Father Abraham Lincoln puts it in the best eloquence and I quote him; “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln: <b>Gettysburg, Pennsylvania November 19, 1863)</b>
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