Date: Thursday, April 04 @ 23:52:00 CST
Topic: Patriotism

Those who have made careers out of dividing the American people, one ethnic group against another, have done a great disservice to our country. Some have insisted on becoming Americans with a hyphen preceded with the name of a country or a continent to which they have ancestral ties. Teddy Roosevelt who could have represented himself as could I as a "Dutch- American" chose not to do so, and in fact once stated "There is no such things as a hyphenated American, either you are an American, or you are not"!

I remember the "good old days" when our high school assemblies started with a devotion, a prayer and a salute to the flag of our country. Back then, during World War II, we all were proud to be just plain old Americans. Nearly half-century later, I can't see that there have been any ill effects on any of my generation as a result of our reverence for God and Country.

Around America, we have those who pound the drum of "Separation of church and state", yet then the chips are down, even those seem to be joining the rest of us in publicly and privately praying for our friends, families, loved ones, our country, its leaders and all that we hold dear - all that embodies what we call FREEDOM. Religious and ethnic tolerance seemed to blossom, at least for a while.

It is ironic that it took thousands of lives, billions of dollars and untold, un-measurable heart aches to bring us back to where we should have been long ago. In the planes, in the rubble and among those who have donated thousands of hours working in what they call, "the pile", there were and are no Native-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Irish-Americans or any other Americans with hyphens. In the horrific explosions of one day, September 9, 2001, the hyphens were evaporated. All became proud to be united once again as Americans!

From east to west, north to south, Americans put aside petty bickering and for a while put political party business on hold, disregarded religious differences and united. If uniting the people of these United States is long lasting and real rather than a temporary thing, those who died will not have died in vain. They will have made contributions to our great land equal to those who fought and died in all of America's wars. Each and everyone of them will deserve a hero's's recognition in the pages of history.

All of us have had our eyes opened wide. We are appreciating the freedoms we had much more, now that they have been altered. We've been made more aware of our own mortality. We have viewed the effects of death and destruction in our own country rather than in a land far away.

As a people united, we can each do our part, be it ever so small, in the rebuilding of our country. If we all would work to minimize bringing problems and strife into the lives of others; if we start to smile more and frown less; praise more and gripe less, love more and hate less, the end result will be that we have more time to smell the roses.

This doesn't mean we should be soft on those who mindfully took the lives of thousands of Americans. The United States of America must lead and participate in a campaign to root out and destroy terrorists in every quadrant of the world. It is something that has to be done. But at the same time, we must always remember, no mother in any country wants her son or daughter to die in a pointless or political way, so we must pick carefully the battlefields upon which we fight. We must solidly resolve that when the men and women of the United States of America are required to fight, it will be with our total support of all of us as Americans, and with a clear objective.....TO WIN THAT FIGHT!

This article comes from VansOpinion

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