The repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is a historic step. It affirms American ideals of equal opportunity and underscores the importance of the right to military service as a fundamental dimension of citizenship. It was no accident that Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation not only guaranteed freedom to black Americans, but at the same time opened the Union Army to their participation. Because of today’s action by the Senate, gay and lesbian Americans will now also have the right to pursue this honorable calling, and we as a nation will have the benefit of their service.

I look forward to pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard’s full and formal recognition of ROTC. I am very pleased that more students will now have the opportunity to serve their country. I am grateful to the Massachusetts congressional delegation for its unified support for repeal.

—  Drew Faust

Art in the making