I'm almost done reading Mr. Tuvia Tenenbom's rather depressing book The Lies They Tell. (Welcome to the real America,
a place you call home but don't yet know!) One of his themes is that Americans are afraid.
And it's not that we are afraid of the rest of the world. We are afraid of ourselves. In the land that celebrates free speech, people are afraid to speak their mind, we don't want to tell you who we voted for, or what we really think for fear of how it will look.
And that's a shame. And it's a shame today as we remember the heroes who died to bring us our freedom, who gave us the world we have today. They died so we could have a chance to live.
They died so that we could speak our minds, exchange our ideas, and come to a greater understanding of what it means to be human, what it means to be a nation. They died so that we could peacably assemble and petition each other for a better world.
So first, I say Thank You. I can not possibly know the sense of loss and pain felt by those you have left behind. My deepest gratitude goes to every person who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can be where we are today, and to the families you left behind, the people who supported you and your loved ones so you could serve.
Now, I'd like to suggest a way to honor the memories of our fallen. Please, today, celebrate the rights they have secured for you. Get over your fear and share yourself. Express your unpopular opinion, but be willing to engage and see matters through another person's eyes. Give yourself the permission to disagree, respectfully. Maybe even reach out to someone who you don't know or understand, and try to see the world through his eyes, especially if you've got a parent that falls into this category.
Then come back and leave a comment, and let me know how your America was better today for your having engaged and made a difference.