Today was a very joyous day in Greenwich Village. The fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall brought out a lot of people to celebrate in style.
Yet seeing all of these happy joyful young people, coming together for a giant party, reminded me of the historical complexity of such situations. It’s wonderful that so many are able to join together to celebrate something positive, yet the people celebrating are, inevitably, at a certain remove.
The daring act of defiance of authority that led to so much progress took place long before most of these celebrants were born. To them those events must seem somewhat abstract.
Would the young people enjoying today’s celebration be willing to risk their own lives for a similar cause? Fortunately for them, they will probably never need to find out.
Those brave individuals who stood up to an unfair society so long ago are now in their seventies or older, if they are still here at all. I imagine some of them are watching today’s celebration with a mix of satisfaction and bemusement.
For I am sure they know that some wars are never completely won. Mindless hate and intolerance are always waiting in the wings, looking for a new opportunity to arise.
One day that opportunity may rear its ugly head, and the battle will be joined once more. Should that sad day come to pass (and I hope it never does), I hope the young people out celebrating today will find themselves able to rise to the occasion.