An act that goes back millenia.
To raise a glass — in acknowledgement, in recognition, in celebration — is to descend gently into the rolling waters of human history.
We have been toasting life, death, love, loss, achievement, failure, happiness, sadness, fortune and misfortune, for nearly as long as we’ve been able to recognize ourselves as ourselves. In fact, the act of toasting may very likely prove to be the very first act of self-awareness that our species ever knew.
It’s quite possible that, with the toast, humans finally recognized themselves.
The point being, is that the act of toasting something, or someone, is a very primal, fundamental, necessary act of recognition.
And then there is war.
War too, sadly, dates equally back.
For as long as there has been history, there has been war.
Strange that the two have so often co-existed; war, and toasts
In war, we find the seeds of destruction, whereas in the toast, we have the root of affirmation.
To go to war is to negate, to toast is to celebrate.
Today, somewhat quietly, the United States concluded the war in Iraq.
Regardless of anyone’s feeling about that war, or any war, I like to believe we’re all pleased to see it end.
So perhaps in equally quiet a fashion, we can toast tonight.
And please know, I don’t ask you to raise a glass of Ridge. I just hope you can raise a glass. Any glass, any liquid, any company.
to the end
of the war.