By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /
“The one thing you need to know about the United States of America is based on a single, simple premise and that is we’re all created equal and yet somehow that’s been so challenging for us throughout the ages,” said Teresa Tomlinson, mayor of Columbus, during her speech at the Maneuver Center of Excellence Women’s Equality Day observance.
Dozens gathered at the Benning Club Aug. 26 to hear the mayor speak.
The decision to attend the event for Christine DiFeliciantonio, an instructional systems specialist with the Directorate of Training and Doctrine, was easy. “I’ve always been a huge advocate of women’s rights and I admire Mayor Tomlinson,” she said.
DiFeliciantonio considered Tomlinson’s words on equality insightful.
During her speech, Tomlinson said that the arch of the truth bends toward justice and equality.
“That’s where we’re going. That’s the great train of humanity. Are you going to be on it?” she asked.
Instead of debating the back and forth, ask yourself what side of history do you want to be on, Tomlinson added.
She encouraged the audience to consider where “the great train of humanity” would place them on its journey.
Tomlinson admitted that while running for mayor the first time, she omitted the signifance of being Columbus’ first female mayor. Instead, her focus and campaign remained rooted on being the best person for the job.
After winning the election, Tomlinson said that she was approached by three women in their seventies at her headquarters.
“They took me aside and introduced themselves. Each of them said something to the degree of ‘I have a college degree. I made coffee for 32 years so that you could be mayor’ or ‘I have a college degree and I taught men less qualified and less able than me to have jobs that I should’ve had and watched them muddle around for years so that you could be mayor.'”
Tomlinson commended the U.S. military for being at the forefront of embracing equality.
“You show yourselves to be at the head of our national pack. In showing us what opportunity, fairness and equality might look like and history will record that leadership,” said Tomlinson.
“Your ranks are filled with flesh and blood of all sorts, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for our shared vision of equality and justice. Your systems and your mechanisms are constantly being tweaked and evolved to provide that our notion of equality is not demeaned or discounted,” she added.
Following her speech, Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley, the commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, presented Tomlinson with a token of appreciation.
Wesley praised Tomlinson saying, “She exudes professionalism and excellence.”
View more photos from the event at fortbenningphotos.com.