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Change is good, unity is better

Prior to Tuesday’s election, citizens throughout North Carolina and the nation cried out for change.

On Nov. 4, those cries turned to votes and change is what we all received.

Now, 48 hours removed from those historic decisions, will we come together as a state and a nation and embrace that change?

In North Carolina, we have elected our first female Governor in state history. Tar Heel voters also returned one of our two U.S. Senate seats to the Democratic Party for the first time in 36 years.

On the national scene, we resoundingly elected the first African-American to the highest post in the land.

Governor-elect Bev Perdue, Senator-elect Kay Hagan and President-elect Barack Obama will soon be in charge of running state and national politics. Whether or not they received our individual votes, they represent our future. Now is not the time for resentment, but rather for unity. In order for us to grow as a state and as a nation, we must put aside partisan politics and come together as one.

We have become a state and a nation with a diverse population, an ever-changing landscape of cultures and ideals. We have learned to co-exist and we need our political leadership to follow that lead.

For those of us old enough to remember the days of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school, we remain “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

We implore our new leaders to set an example. We ask them not to make decisions based upon party, gender or race, but rather for the good of the whole.

What has evolved in our nation over the years is now behind us…that’s why we call it history. As a state and a nation, we cannot move forward, we cannot embrace change, by looking backwards. All we can hope for is that our new leaders ignore the rear-view mirror and move us forward as one state and one nation.