It’s a sad day here in the USA. It seems that the whole country has gone mad. It is no longer “My America” any longer.
My America is beautiful. We’re diverse, we’re proud, we’re free and we’re grateful to those who paved the way. My America is color blind, kind and gives a helping hand. My America salutes the flag, kneels before God and stands proud to claim to be American.
Growing up in America, I was raised in a small town in New York with only one traffic light, best friends who were black, Puerto Rican and Jewish, went to church on Sunday at our local Catholic church and even attended more than one Saturday evening in the Synagogue, worshiping with my best friend, Heather.
In the summer, we all swam in the lake and winters skating on that same lake. We had numerous sleep overs, hikes up the mountain and overnight camping trips to various locations with the folks. I’ve marched in many a Veteran’s and Memorial Day parades as a girl scout and attended more than one function at the local American Legion Post and our Elks Lodge.
I respected my elders and God forbid I gave them sass, because my Mom and Dad would find out and I’d be in deep waters. I volunteered to help others. I made regular visits to my grandparents and celebrated holidays like Christmas and Easter in school! It did not matter that my best friends were white, black and of Indian descent, all that mattered to us was that we liked each other and had the same interests.
We were poor and I never even knew it. We were on the Government Cheese program where the government brought the dairy surplus from farmers and gave it to those in need. We got it monthly and even cut the mold off it to eat it when we had it for so long that it began to go bad. I wore hand-me-downs from my cousins and most of them were male. LOL!
I was bullied. I was beaten up by both girls and boys. I worked it out. I liked everyone; but not everyone liked me. My parents didn’t fight my battles, they made me do it myself. They didn’t involve themselves in kid fight; because kids make up and parents are still angry and it’s over kid stuff.
We celebrated our differences; but we also joined together in our solidarity as Americans. It is the old school, hometown values that made this country great.
Big Jim and Tiny were the local gay couple we all knew were gay and that you could call on them for help if you needed it. They also had a cool steam engine in their front yard, which was so cool. A good friend of the family, a man named Niles, was Jamaican and the darkest skinned man I ever knew and we called him “Uncle” because he was like an uncle to us kids. We knew to be home by the time the street lights came on and we were hardly ever at home; but out playing and enjoying the fresh air.
If a person wore a uniform, they were an authority figure and we had better behave or we’d be in trouble. We knew most of the town police and firemen. They knew who we were, too. We could walk or ride our bikes anywhere. We were safe. We were home.
It’s why I, myself, put on the uniform and served this great nation. To protect and serve. To honor what those who came before me had already established so that my children could enjoy the same rights as I did. And yet, here I am, raising my son in a country I don’t even recognize. I also have to state that in Sept & Oct 2016, I received a flag for two fallen Marines, both of which served Honorably and passed.
People are killing people for being different. People are disrespectful to each other. People are rude and self – centered, self – obsessed, and selfish. People move to this country and think we need to change to fit into a mold of the country they left. If it is so important to you to have your customs, why did you leave? Why should I have to adopt your customs and values?
When I was stationed overseas, I had to adapt to their local customs and ways. I didn’t go their expecting them to change their laws and customs to accommodate me. I was expected to follow their ways. As a matter of fact, everyone who does go to a foreign country in the military, has to go through a weeks worth of orientation before going to their commands so that no one can say they were unaware of local laws, customs and traditions. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
With all that has changed in the last 15 years or so, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to bring this country back to it’s former glory. It’s a shame. Yes, there are problems; but violence doesn’t help. Protesting doesn’t help. Treating people with disrespect doesn’t help. We have to work together in order to work it out.
What I do know is all of this discord is tearing our nation apart. I’m saddened and wanted so much more for my son. I’m hurting for our children. I’m hurting for the country I so love. I’m hurting for those who are hurting. I just want my country back.
I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Today, not so much. I was disappointed in the fact that they refrained from even entering the field for the National Anthem. These men are paid to perform. They are not a political organization. They are overpriced showman. It’s the same with actors/actresses. They’re paid performers. They make more than the average American does to entertain us. Why are we giving them the power to do this? We need to cut them off.