Judge Sonia Sotomayor concluded her opening remarks talking about all the letters of support she received from around the country. Many of those letters mentioned the American Dream.
"Each reflects a belief in the dream that led my parents to come to New York all those years ago. It is our Constitution that makes that dream possible."
The American Dream is such a powerful image.
Just an hour before Sotomayor spoke, almost the same words were spoken by a young Cal State Fullerton student. Cindia Velasco said the Judge herself was proof that the American dream was real, that she as a young Latina could strive to become anything she wanted to be.
More than 20 years ago, similar words were spoken by a young father from El Salvador. He'd just become a US citizen. He said, "I have my American dream. I have my house, I have my family, I have my bird..."
It's a reminder that each of us has our own unique version of that American dream. We're usually just too embarrassed to speak about it out loud.