Her promise is the promise of what we almost are, of what we want to be. She is the becoming Canada.
The millions -- no, the many millions -- who are in our land today having arrived from somewhere else can tell us of real wounds, real pain, a pain known to those who came here a quarter century ago from a ravaged Southeast Asia, or half a century ago from a ravaged Europe. Our new Governor-General knows this pain.
"The story of that little girl, who watched her parents, her family, and her friends grappling with the horrors of a ruthless dictatorship, who became the woman standing before you today, is a lesson in learning to be free," she declared.
Those who came before can take life-fulfilling pride in knowing that they created the country that brought her here, and her brothers and sisters from Sri Lanka and Somalia and Lebanon and Guatemala. They created a place where she could be free because all are free.
Now a new Canada seeks to fashion a new kind of freedom, the freedom to renounce ethnic perimeters, the freedom for all to embrace all. Michaëlle Jean is their voice.
Ibbitson must be angling for an appointment. He really had to reach to transform a shabby political appointment done in a rush to shore up the Haitian vote in Montreal into a living Statue of Liberty lifting her lamp beside the golden door.