Today is America’s birthday. A great day for celebrations. Parades. Fireworks. Flag waving. This should be a day to be proud of our great nation.
Unfortunately politics have become uglier than I can remember in my lifetime, with harassment and threats, and retaliation. The current political climate is disgusting. With constant insults and boorish behavior being directed towards anyone who disagrees with one’s policies or agendas, all the while demanding loyalty and blind adherence to party lines. Where is any compromise or unity? This is America! What has happened?
As a nation have we become so narrow-minded; so entrenched; so chauvinistic; that we can’t accept another point of view? Are we condemned to be living in fear or loathing of our neighbors? We sing “God Bless America” but where is God in all our hateful rhetoric? How do we pledge to be “One Nation Under God” and deny basic freedom and dignity to those in desperate need of asylum? While families are being separated and babies are being torn from their mother’s arms, where are our statesmen and stateswomen?
What can I do?
First of all: instead of wringing my hands, I will be a patriot. I will wave my flag. I will continue to write to my congresswoman and senators and the president. I will vote. I will debate. I will support candidates who will fight for justice for all. I will stand tall. I will speak up. I will remember that our nation is not perfect. I will celebrate what I can. I will protest what I must. I will pray. And I will remember.
I will remember those who have died to protect our freedom. I will remember that my great-grandparents were immigrants who were welcomed into a strange land with no money, no education and no discernible value or skills to offer. They didn’t speak English. They didn’t have degrees. They probably wouldn’t be welcomed today.
As a nation we have much to do. We have to work to insure our freedom and to guarantee freedom to all who enter here. We can do better! Our children and grandchildren deserve to live in an America that is still beautiful.
Our nation should be celebrated today. It’s messy. It’s imperfect. It’s mine. It’s yours. It’s ours. And it has ALWAYS been great.
“I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt