In Search of America
“Oh, my gosh, Mr. Paul! The Twin Towers fell, with all those people in them!” I remember my students saying this as the news filtered out from the media about the horrendous events that unfolded about the Twin Towers, the attack on the Pentagon, and the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. Close to 3000 Americans were slaughtered that day and many others became widows or widowers, and thousands of children were suddenly without a parent or parents. Many more loved ones and friends grieve at their loss. The entire country was on edge, not knowing what would happen next.
Rising from the ashes of that day was a feeling of unity. Our differences in race, religion, and income were no longer important; we were (and are) Americans, united against those who would do us harm. We talked and supported each other, resolving that we would not go quietly into the night. All of the previous conflicts, concerns, and disenchantments were swept aside.
We realized that we were more united than we were divided. Well, what a difference fifteen years makes. The goodwill and spirit of togetherness back then is now replaced by indifference; political, economic, and racial divisions gnaw at our core values.
In their various actions, our terrorist enemies are challenging us around the world and at home in America. And yet, some of us worry about our own self-interests, not about our future as a country. American values are still alive for many; but for others these lie dormant, yearning to be reignited by another tragic event.
Before this takes places, why not re-engage yourself by becoming more informed about the founding of our country? I have personally begun reading “The Federalist Papers”, which preceded the creation of our Constitution, and relates the struggles and visions our Founding Fathers had for our country—not just for their generations, but for generations to come.
In the same framework of being informed historically, we as a voting electorate need to be better informed about current politics. By that, I mean whatever your political affiliation; you should take the time to research all of the candidates, the issues they supported in the past, and their values. This should be done not by just watching or reading the news, but visiting their websites and doing independent research of their previous stances on issues, and core values. Then, compare/contrast their vision for our future and select which issue or candidate best aligns with your core political and personal values. After this is completed, go VOTE!
Our Armed Forces have sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy our freedoms, one of which is the right and privilege to vote. God Bless these United States of America and all of the men and women who have and will be serving our country.
This article is dedicated to my nephew, Dustin Paul Napier, who was killed in Afghanistan in January 2012.
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