Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older. After all, the longer you live, the more life experiences you have for comparison, but I’m getting fed up with people and businesses who don’t appreciate all that we have in our United States.
What prompted this particular tirade was an email I got this morning. It was from the company that installed my sprinkler system. I usually only hear from them when winter approaches and they remind me of cold-weather precautions. But today, it was different; it was a message of gratitude and respect for our fallen military, complete with an image of a tri-folded flag.
My reaction was one of instant appreciation; an instant ‘attaboy’ to Andy’s for using this email opportunity to express a patriotic sentiment without any commercial intrusion. So far today, I’ve received 31 emails; about half from commercial concerns and Andy’s was the only one with a bona fide Memorial Day message.
But that appreciative thought was quickly followed by a more somber one; as a nation, we are in danger of losing the pride that made us the envy of the world, much of which was due to the innate goodness of the American people. Our national personality seems to be slipping away, little by little, without any alarm to warn us of its passing.
In recent years, it’s been ruled that burning our flag is a protected action and showing disrespect to the flag and our national anthem is apparently becoming acceptable (to some). This isn’t by happenstance, if the left has their way, patriotism will become passé, and allegiance to our flag and the national anthem will be a thing of the past. Actions by some NFL players illustrate the left’s success in spreading that influence.
The left would have us believe that the United States is not exceptional, that on the contrary, we’ve been guilty of all manner of crimes against the world. One only has to think back to Barack Obama’s first term when he took every opportunity to apologize for our actions; actions that he apparently believed were crimes against humanity.
He and others were apparently influenced by leftist propaganda and conveniently forgot how many American lives were sacrificed to defend other countries. In Europe, in Japan, our young men gave their lives so that others could be free – and for that – instead of thankful remembrance on this Memorial Day, some leftists would prefer to mischaracterize our sacrifices as interference.
We didn’t invade those countries; they needed our help and we helped. We didn’t remain as occupying forces; we brought our armies home when the battles were over. We returned control to those sovereign countries and we came home. We lost hundreds of thousands of our best and brightest young Americans in a worthy cause to ensure liberty for millions.
The United States has been a beacon of democracy and a living example of how a nation can be governed by its citizens, with freedom for all and without a despot or dictator. No nation on earth has done more to help other countries than the United States – yet some on the left still see that as ‘interfering.’
I must confess that I’m troubled with what I’ve experienced over many decades of witnessing our American values slowly slipping away. I don’t see the public displays of patriotism that used to be common, I don’t see the respect for law and order that was common, and I see the diminution of the Christian values that the country was founded on.
We’re all guilty of accepting degraded levels of our ‘American Way of Life’ and that’s a shame because we’ve lost a lot of valuable norms that used to be everyday occurrences and now are becoming rare.
To some degree, I can understand this devolution; life often just gets in the way of serious thinking. It’s only when some event awakens us and lets a little introspection seep in do we consider what we’ve lost and what we’re in danger of losing if things don’t change.
Don’t misunderstand; I don’t long for ‘the good old days’ as if everything was better back then. It’s true, life was simpler then and now things have become more complicated. But more complicated doesn’t necessarily mean improved. In my view, things have advanced; people have not. Most of the advancement has been to our stuff, our things, not in our personal experiences.
I remember a time when few people bothered to lock their doors and kids could be away from home, riding their bicycles for hours at a time, without concern. Neighbors helped neighbors, friends helped friends, and churches were sanctuaries for all in need.
Where I grew up, there were guns in most homes and yet there were no mass shootings and certainly no shootings at schools. If anyone shot a child, the shooter probably would not have lived to see the sunset. The NRA was active back then teaching gun safety and outside of pockets of gangsters, one person shooting another (on purpose) was rare.
Almost every family had a mom and a dad (a woman and a man) and the kids were taught right from wrong. They were also probably spanked when they acted up. Somehow, the act of a belt on a bottom didn’t traumatize the children enough to prevent them from growing up to be productive, law-abiding citizens.
We honored our military and police and looked up to them as role models. Hollywood produced actors, not political pundits, and we could trust that our media of choice (newspapers, magazines, or radio) was probably telling us the truth.
Our school teachers taught, our students studied and learned, and amazingly, they could read and write at grade level – a far cry from the functional illiterates most public schools are churning out today.
I know that some would consider that era as being the ‘dark ages,’ before the left began to ‘enlighten’ us ignorant Neanderthals, but there was much that was good about that era even though we somehow muddled through life without ‘guidance’ from political correctness and without help from Alexa, and Siri.
As a nation, it’s true that we’ve stumbled occasionally; after all, we are made up of over 327 million individuals and none of us are perfect, but overall, we have much to be proud of. We should be proud, we should be patriotic, we should be thankful to have been born in (or legally migrated to) our United States.
If you disagree with those statements, please enlighten me as to what other country has proven to be superior to the U.S. in that regard. What other country has done so much, has sacrificed so much, to aid other countries?
Americans are exceptional.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be. Ideally, all countries should be as concerned about others’ well-being as we are, but that’s just not the case.
We have a right to be proud Americans, we have a right to get a little emotional when we hear the Star Spangled Banner or as the flag passes during a parade. We also have a right to get emotional when we hear taps and pause to give thanks for all of those who gave so much so that we could enjoy the freedoms that they won for us. We owe them everything.
We are Americans, and by God, we’ve earned the right to be proud.
NOTE: Sorry for the belated post, my Internet was down and only this afternoon was usable again.