Because of two brave people in love, who had the persistence and courage to fight the system of injustice so many years ago, I have the right to fall in love and eventually marry the man of my dreams. R. is black and I am white. We have been friends for 5 years and falling in love took us both by surprise. He is my everything and is the first man I've had a relationship with that makes me want to be a better woman. He has integrity and I admire the content of his character. I never "planned" to fall in love or marry outside of my race, but I also never "planned" not to, either. I grew up in a rural Missouri county that had just about a zero black population at that time. However, my parents raised me to not see color, "people are just people" is how I was raised. I did have some positive early experiences with other races. I began martial arts practice in my teens and my karate sensei was from Colombia, South America and my Master instructor was black. (Now Grandmaster, he has his own website: www.robbdragonhogan.com ) Next to my parents, these two men had the most positive impact on my formative years. I wouldn't be who I am today without their influence. Also, my parents were the matron of honor and Best Man at the the first wedding I ever attended - a wedding between a black man and a white woman. Interestingly, I also consistently chose black baby dolls over white dolls as a child. Thank God for what the Lovings accomplished. If it were not for them, we, and other couples like us, would not be free to commit to one another before God and be recognized as a legally married couple. We should all always honor the past, and the accomplishments of those that came before us. Without our history we wouldn't be where we are today. The past should always be recognized, remembered and honored.