Congratulations, Sen. Barack Obama, for a campaign well run and for helping Americans achieve Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream - an America where people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
Several years ago, my younger daughter, Angelea, met Dr. King's daughter, Yolanda King, in Morgantown, W.Va.
Yolanda was in town to help celebrate her father's legacy by delivering a motivational speech at a local church.
After her speech, Yolanda sat at a card table in the back of the church for a book signing. Angelea was the first in line for an autograph.
Yolanda smiled broadly at Angelea and her Parkersburg Catholic Elementary School sweatshirt, and took Angelea's hand in hers.
"What's behind those big, blue eyes of yours?" she asked.
I had told Angelea to come prepared with a question for Dr. King's daughter, in the event she had an opportunity to talk with her. But I was surprised by Yolanda's inquiry.
"What was the favorite thing you ever did with your dad?" Angelea asked, gazing into Yolanda's big brown eyes and face that looked much like the woman's father.
Yolanda chuckled and thoughtfully answered, "I loved riding on the roller coaster with my dad."
I envisioned Dr. King and Yolanda smiling and laughing, dipping up and down on a roller coaster on a clear, summer day.
Yolanda talked with Angelea about her time with her dad, explaining that when they were at home, the outside world was forgotten.
"There were no crowds of people inside. Just our family," she said.
Yolanda King inscribed Angelea's book with a special sentiment. "Remember the amusement park story."
It wasn't long afterward that Yolanda King died unexpectedly at the home of a family member.
I can still hear Dr. King's daughter's resonant voice at the church, and it calls to mind the famous speech delivered by Dr. King on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Dr. King said, " ... Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
"But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'"
It was not long ago that my daughter had the privilege of joining hands with Dr. King's daughter.
Today it is our privilege to be a part history and to acknowledge a long-fought campaign by Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain, no matter who won.
From the time when I was a little girl back in the '60s when the Civil Rights movement was at its height, it's been a long stride forward for America, and the future is yet to be drafted.
Linda Kay Goodwin, RN, BSN, MBA, is a nationally award-winning columnist and recipient of the American Academy of Nursing Media Award for Excellence in the presentation of Health Care Information to the Public. She is employed by Mount Nittany Medical Center and West Virginia University Medical Center.