Posts Tagged ‘America’
It’s been a tragic week for America. Boston was terrorized during what is normally a joyous occasion – its annual marathon. The Boston Marathon is prestigious. You must qualify to enter. Runners dream about it. Even some who don’t want to run it, use its qualifying time as a benchmark when setting goals for other races. On Monday, for many athletes, their dream-come-true became a nightmare when two bombs went off near the finish line. At least three people are dead, with more than 100 injured.
Two days later, a fertilizer plant in Texas exploded. At this time, that tragedy doesn’t appear to involve criminal activity or terrorism. The explosion, which registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake, caused severe damage within a five-block radius. Dozens or more are feared dead and hundreds are injured.
Much of this blog, like all political blogs, focuses on what divides us. Not today. Our fellow Americans are hurting. We empathize with their sadness and fear and wish to soothe their pain. During times like these we often ask ourselves what we can do. We can donate blood, money, or time to charitable organizations. We can also be thankful for what we have. I’m thankful for my five wonderful children. I’m thankful for their good health and for my own. I’m thankful for the freedom we enjoy that is uniquely American. I’m thankful that I can make a living doing what I love, and that, in my small way, I’m helping preserve our American freedom for future generations including my own children.
What are you thankful for? In Boston on Wednesday night, many Bruins fan found a way to express their gratitude a mere two days after chaos struck their city – they sang the national anthem at the top of their lungs. You can hear the Boston accents while they sing with pride, with love, and with gratitude for the things that weren’t lost on Monday. They got back up together – and we can join them.
We live in the greatest nation on earth. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks so. I have spent a lot of time talking to high school students – usually senior government classes – about politics and public policy. I always start the class the same way – asking a question. “Who here believes that the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth?” It is always disappointing when fewer than half the hands go up.
Tens of millions of Americans today think that America is the greatest nation on earth. Many of them may not have thought that before Nov. 4, 2008 and the election of Barack Obama. But, with luck, their newfound hope will not be temporary.
This great land of ours, America, has withstood the test of time. Yes, I worry about what President Barack Obama may do and the policies he may pursue, but this country is bigger than any one individual, even a President.
This historic day got me thinking about an essay I wrote last year. It hasn’t been widely read, but I thought I’d put it on the Deep Thinking portion of the blog. I hope you enjoy it.