God warned Lot’s wife not to look back as He delivered her from destruction — but she looked back. When I read about the town she was leaving, I wonder what in the name of heavens made that woman turn around . . . What would make me look if I had been in her sandals, and saw my country in flames in a rearview mirror?
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. ~Josh Billings
Looking back it’s tempting to idolize the gift God has given me in my national heritage — my backward glance, sighing for a kinder, gentler time has its blind spots. With everything apparently crashing around me, I can immobilize myself with nostalgia. I look back to the mid-twentieth century, as if the relative peace and safety of my childhood were what the world was like.
But, the prosperity and peace that my circle of “Boomers” enjoyed was not worldwide, nor even citywide when we were growing up. Millions upon millions of folks living after World War II do not share those memories of freedom from fear and want.
The 1950’s in America were as dangerous as they were wonderful; Hopeful as they were hypocritical.
Would I want our grandchildren living with the threat of polio, mumps, and measles; or, our children living with the angst of segregation and nuclear holocausts? Oh wait . . . they have their terrors! They now face a super bug, religious intolerance, and nations now armed with weapons of mass destruction.
Who will fight for them?
Memorial Day is becoming a day of deeper reflection, especially as America today seems so different to me than she did in the 1950’s. It was her promise, though, for which so many gave their lives. And that’s the same promise that gives me hope in one disappointing new cycle after another.
What we need are critical lovers of America – patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it. ~Hubert H. Humphrey
Memorial Day reminds me how costly freedoms are, and remain. Memorial Day is a time to look at the cost of this balance thus far . . . and know that the tab is open.
Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose. ~Ulysses S. Grant
Our great nation is after all a design of men, inspired and permitted by God — and sustained by Him — but for His purposes, not our comfort. Today is a mixture of gratitude and grief and resolve:
Patriotism is easy to understand in America – it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. ~Calvin Coolidge
For all who are streaming across our borders, as never before, may you and yours embrace the essence of America.
What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom “to” and freedom “from.” ~Marilyn vos Savant, in Parade