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Amazing history we're experiencing, huh?

At this moment, a salute to those people who should have lived to see January 20, 2009.

Starting with the 4000+ American soldiers in Iraq (and the untold Iraqis), the thousands in New Orleans in 2005 and, of course, those lost on 9/11.

I'm also thinking of the great creative minds we've lost in the last few years. Of Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer, of Molly Ivins and Susan Sontag. Of Ray Charles and Warren Zevon and Studs Terkel and James Brown, of George Carlin and Gordon Parks and Hunter S. Thompson and Richard Pryor.

I knew an older gentleman in Philadelphia, an ex-Negro Leaguer named Gene Benson. In the winter of 1945 Gene played winter baseball in Venezuela where his roommate was an infielder named Jackie Robinson who had just been signed by the Brooklyn Dodger organization. Gene died almost 10 years ago. Jackie died in 1972. What would they be thinking if they saw the portico of the Capitol tomorrow at noon?

Hell, Martin Luther King would only have been 80 today. Younger than either George H.W. Bush or Jimmy Carter, even a decade younger than Pete Seeger.

Feel free to add the names of people you miss who you wish were alive today. They can be celebrities, or family and friends.

Originally posted to zkg on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:41 PM PST.

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