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The White House posted this photo on its Flickr feed yesterday, of President Barack Obama taking a moment to sit on the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Obama remarked on the moment later that day, at a campaign event in Michigan. (The bus is housed at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.)

“I just sat in there for a moment and pondered the courage and tenacity that is part of our very recent history but is also part of that long line of folks who sometimes are nameless, oftentimes didn’t make the history books, but who constantly insisted on their dignity, their share of the American dream,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

Paying homage to a hero does not make one a hero or a great leader. But contemplating the wisdom and brevity of such events in history is a powerful way to start.

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