TIME

WILL THE NATION SUCCEED WHERE THE PRESIDENT FAILED?

IN MEMORIAM A makeshift memorial at the spot where Heather Heyer died in Charlottesville on Aug. 12

Just after midnight on Nov. 4, 2008, the U.S.’s first African-American President-elect stood in Chicago’s Grant Park with a challenge to the country: “If there is anyone out there,” Barack Obama said, “who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

But it was just one answer, to be followed by many more from all quarters, including precincts that once kept their poisons private. This is a story as old as America itself, this serial reckoning with the dreams of our founders, and our record in living up to them. Ours is still an imperfect union, bound by the belief that we can always do better.

Those who lit the

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