Posts Tagged ‘America’

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Day After people

July 10, 2016

This will initially sound absurd and I definitely am not calling for more violence or attacks. What I do want is, the Day After the attacks. I want September 12, 2001.

Remember that Day After. We mostly believed that no more attacks were coming. Our minds, individually and collectively, still could not wrap around the horrors we saw on TV, or from our own homes or workplaces the day before. The 9/11 attacks on America were a first for most of us, as is today’s civil unrest.

In that fear and horror, we united. To a person, we let go of petty and significant differences, those that matter for decades to come and those we wouldn’t remember an hour later. We held hands and shared hugs and wiped each other’s tears in comfort. We united.

On July 9, 2016, after the assault that killed five officers, we saw some of that in Dallas. We saw the citizens there make time to go to hug and thank the police officers. We saw similar acts across our country, because, I believe, we all understand that our law enforcement officers protect and serve us all – doing a job that most of us are not brave enough to do.

True, police officers and citizens alike are human beings who make mistakes. Some more grievous than others. Yet, do any of us truly believe that any police officer goes on duty each shift with the thought, “I will seek out and kill a ______ today.”?

But today, instead of true unity, I still hear labels and divisive talk. “They” not “us.” “Black” or “Blue” not “people.” One syndicated columnist in today’s local paper demanded that the Dallas shooter be called a terrorist. Why? How does that matter? He was a killer, plain and simple. Any other labels seem to me to add unnecessary layers and distractions, none of which have done a bit of good to try to resolve the root cause of violence in America.

I think economic equality rather than race may be the root cause. We have poor in all races. The common truth for nearly all of us is that to succeed, we must put in the hard work and discipline.

My father abandoned my mother, and younger brother and sister and I when I was 13. From that point on, nearly everything I had I earned. First through lots of babysitting, my first job, and sewing my own clothes. I shopped with the food stamps my mom had to get to be able to feed us. It’s been that way ever since – I worked for what I needed or wanted. Anything I have today, including a college degree, I worked long and hard to attain.

I mean that to be a ‘we all have a story’ story, not a ‘poor me’ story. If we can all acknowledge that most of us have the same opportunities and most of us want the same things, I believe we can unite to overcome today’s societal mess. We can be “The Day After” people who come together and stay together to make our country whole again.

Try to remember how you felt on September 12, 2001, or ask a relative how s/he felt that day. It’s in that anguish that I believe we can set aside labels and those meaningless physical differences – none of which mattered to us back then. Let’s leave them at the curb and walk forward together in kindness and compassion.

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Happy Independence Day!

June 19, 2011
Jacksonville, Florida 4th of July

Jacksonville loves fireworks!

Happy Independence Day!

With the prelude of cannons, like the bride and groom at their first wedding dance, we cheer the colorful embers dancing with the stars! Star-Spangled Banner, My Country ‘Tis of Thee mix with patriotic country ballads and Bruce Springsteen. Our bellies are full from burgers, hot dogs or fried chicken and Grandma’s potato salad, and our skin is sticky with dried sweat from a long day in the summer sun. Even though we’re just a little bit comatose from all that abundance, we stand to cheer and ahhhh at this deep-rooted tradition that is America.

This year of 2011, governments are damned if theydo, damned if they don’t. In tight budget times with high unemployment, there is a faction that will cry foul if cities go forward with their usual fireworks displays on the Fourth of July. And there are others, like me, who will decry the decision to cancel fireworks displays.

Modern America is not known for its philosophy of moderation. We are a nation of extremes, so we rarely consider the opportunity to find middle ground. In this instance, where our service men and women continue to help foreign countries fight to obtain and maintain independence, across America we owe it to them to honor and celebrate our 235 years of independence.

A lazy day of backyard cookouts with family and friends is the core of our July Fourth tradition, and as American as baseball, Mom and apple pie. A fireworks display at sunset is the enormous bow on the package of a life of freedom!

In Florida where I live it is so dry that we shouldn’t have fireworks for safety reasons. That makes me sad but I understand because safety comes first. But the budgetary excuses irritate me. Scale back, 10 percent, 15 percent or even 25 percent. Just do something that reminds your local residents to revel in the privilege of freedom we have in the USA.

Freedom is reason to celebrate!

(Photo Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5532992/4th_of_july_fireworks_in_jacksonville.html?cat=8)