Yesterday, an estimated 65,000 gay and lesbian members of our military were allowed to protect our country openly.
Like Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, this is a â€œhistoric dayâ€ for both the military and the nation.
But this historic day was far too long in the making. The law, which made it illegal for gays and lesbians to serve openly in armed forces, has been around since the mid-1990s.
In a society such as ours that prides itself in equality, how could we have implemented this law in the first place, then suppressed a portion of our armed forces with it for more than a decade?
One would hope that our country would have developed some stronger ethical standards after the shame of â€œseparate but equal.â€ But at least we are making progress.
Even though it took U.S. lawmakers years to agree on removing this law, at least they were able to eventually agree on something, and finally put our country on par with most other developed nations.
But like Panetta said, this is a historic day for our nation as a whole. Like with the Civil Rights Movement, history has proven that once the military makes a change, the rest of the country is soon to follow.
So after this great stride, maybe sometime soon, the future the gays and lesbians of America will be able to enjoy the same basic freedoms â€“â€“ like marriage â€“â€“ that the rest of the country holds so dear.