Inspiration in purple fingers

In my early 20s I became too cool to vote and therefore not cool at all.
Thank God that faze passed before my father, a Bronze Star winner in World War II with two brothers who were killed in the European Theater, got wind of it.
My father not only always voted, but always voted twice. Not exactly, but I used to kid him that he had two votes. His and my mom’s. Every election day, she asked him whom she should for and he, an avid follower of the news, didn’t hesitate to tell her.
I cannot remember what brought me to my senses, but I haven’t missed an election in more than 40 years and need no other motivation than the privilege of being born in this country.
But if I did, I’d have to look no further than the scenes in Iraq in 2005 during the first free elections after the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein.
The only means to ensure that Iraqis did not vote more than once was to have each voter dip his or her finger in purple ink. The videos of thousands of proud Iraqis waving their purple fingers in the air provide an embarrassing lesson for any American who willing passes up the opportunity to cast a ballot.
Those purple fingers could have gotten someone killed in Iraq, but the people didn’t care. They were proud to do their duty. And to wave those purple fingers to prove it.
Having witnessed all those purple fingers, how could any of us not do ours.

Ed Ackerman