A letter to the editor from Lake Geneva resident and published author Robb Chase.
As the weekend of our nation’s birth draws near, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on our progress as a government of the people. Each time I hear the story of how America came to be, a nation my chest swells with pride. To stand up to, and part from, such a strong empire that at the time, and perhaps still, the sun never set on it, is a feat that is deserving of pride and awe. We should celebrate that great day in 1776 with our friends and family, and give thanks to the courageous men and women that fought for the land we now call home. We stood united, shoulder-to-shoulder, arm in arm, with clenched teeth and sweat upon our brow.
How do we stand today?
The answer to that differs in each of us, and it’s the answer to that question that I try now to reflect upon. How do we stand today?
Are we still the greatest nation on earth?
Do we truly stand shoulder-to-shoulder?
I myself would love to say yes, but we seem more divided today than we were in any other time in history with the exception of the early 1860’s, and the years leading up to that horrific time period. We all know the history of those years and how Americans became so divided that they took up arms against one other. I could continue to recite the cause that led up to those years, but it is in the past, and it really should stay there.
So where does that leave us?
How do we become united again?
I often quote one of my own novels at this point and I will yet again.
“All too often we focus on the dust of difference, ignoring the mountain of commonality.”
Have we learned so little from our past that we are destined to repeat the atrocities of it over and over again? Can we not again find common ground? As I listen to explosions in the sky outside my window, I’m reminded again of that great day in 1776, that all Americans can claim as their honored heritage. To be an American means something special and unique to each and every one of us, but it is also what binds us together. Political squabbles are certainly nothing new.
We have never seen every issue under the same light, but that should not stop us from remembering who we are!
We are Americans!
We are as varied a group as there ever could be, but we must again stand shoulder-to-shoulder, arm in arm, and find common ground.
We must do this, not because it is easy, but because it is hard! We need unity now as much as ever! We should not let the images we see in the controlled media drive us apart! We are Americans we have the grand ability to unify in the face of adversity. Do not forget who we are! We are the great melting pot! Just like in science where genomes are strengthened by diversity, so are we as Americans! We all came here seeking a better life!
So yes, celebrate this weekend with your friends and family.
Hold them close and tell them you love them.
Celebrate the great American dream of freedom!
When the weekend is over, perhaps that spirit of bonding, of commonality, will carry over and stay with us all as we continue to live our lives in this great nation of the people.