June 8, 2004
Observing the overwhelming recognition afforded to our recently passed President
Reagan by tens of thousands of American citizens has impressed me immensely.
This occurred only a week after the highly publicized dedication of the World
War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and my having attending a small but very
smartly organized and well-attended Memorial Day Service in Sunrise with my daughters.
In recent months, I have been disappointed at our overall lack of unity and
even rarer overt displays of patriotism. The combination of these recent
events, of peoples giving of their time and electing to attend these memorial
services rather than simply taking the days off has freshly reaffirmed to me
our ability to come together as a single people: one nation under God.
We live in a large, technologically advanced, very rich country offering a
plethora of opportunities and an almost endless number of diversions and
activities competing for our time and attention. We quickly become engrossed
in the multiple levels of our own individual lives. On a daily basis we are
usually a mass of individuals competing for attention, parking spaces, and
that inexplainable urge to pass "just one more car".
Despite the hurried lives which cause us to take little time for reflection
and even less to extend common courtesies, I believe that we are capable of
uniting when we feel the patriotic tug on our heartstrings. I have very
often wished that we could continually feel that unity, share that
compassion and extend those communal courtesies that we gladly offer
when the feelings are right and we briefly turn away from our
individualistic culture. Of course, I cannot completely knock individualism
either; especially since men seeking the liberty to make choices in their
lives founded this great nation. Our government and society was designed
to allow us our individualism.
We do have another such unifying opportunity fast approaching: our 228th
anniversary of independence is less than one month away. Once again I
intend to share this time with family. And yes, I'll deliver yet another
impromptu speech to my young daughters about the proud history of our
nation, the significance of the U.S. flag, the perils currently facing
our country, the honorable troops defending us, and the reasons why we
must persist in the conquest of indescribable evil. I will also clearly
explain to them that although we are physically celebrating at home
with a few family members we are actually celebrating in a shared spirit
with our nearly 300 million fellow Americans around the world.