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D-Day Musings About An Imperfect Nation ... That's Worth Saving

Updated on June 7, 2012

I've been thinking an awful lot lately about the people that have come before me. Not just my ancestry, but Americans in general. And, well, being a normal guy who wants to be an admirable man, I can't help but wonder how I'd stack up against the men who came before me. How would I have reacted to their fears ? How would I have reacted to their challenges ? Would I have always done the right thing ?

I never knew my great uncle Harold, I never will. He was killed on D-Day June 6, 1944. He's buried in the cemetery at St Lo in Normandy, France, It's the cemetery you've seen pictures of with the seemingly endless white Crosses intermittently interrupted by white Stars of David. Could I even have performed as well as Harold,who was simply doing what had to be done ?? What would I have done ??

I can't help but wonder how would I have fared were I any of my great-grandfathers in my genealogical countries of origin, Norway, Sweden, and Germany respectively. Would I have had the guts to risk everything and make the uncertain passage to America ? Once here would I have had the will to endure what it took to stay ?

If I individually had been a slave in the South, would I have had the mental toughness or physical fortitude to sing Spirituals even though I was living under the whip ? Would I have had enough courage of any conviction to fight for either the Union or Confederacy ? Regardless of what side I'd chosen would I have fought on at Gettysburg or just ran away and hid ?

Could I have survived an extended Western journey on a covered wagon.with nothing but a dream, hopefully sufficient provisions and a King James Bible. When it got tough on that journey, would I have wanted to turn around or would I have been one of those men who'd have been willing to do anything... anything to carry on !!

I'm not sure I'd even want to know if I'd have been brave enough to sign the Declaration of Independence or would I have been willing to compromise as a British Loyalist ? What's my default mode Patrick Henry or Benedict Arnold ?

Could I have been able to keep a positive, optimistic attitude as a poor urban laborer in the New York tenements during the Killer Heat Wave of 1896 ..... without air-conditioning ?

How would I have voted for Andrew Jackson's impeachment ? Would I have fought against Women's Suffrage ?? Would I have ignored the prolonged pathetic cries of Kitty Genovese ? Would I have rushed the cabin on Flight 93 ??

As a child I knew guys up and down the street who went to Vietnam though it was last thing they wanted to do ? What would I have done ? My uncle Bill went ? Saw action and returned home surprisingly unscathed. Would I have been able to have his experience and chosen not to be bitter"

Looking at it honestly, I know that America has been a less than perfect nation. because it's always been made up of imperfect men and women. It's been made up of people like me. But that shouldn't stop me from doing what is right now !!!

The late American author, John Gunther was telling the truth when he said "Ours is the only nation founded on a good idea". Meaning we've got it right more than any other nation in history. Can we get it right again ??

So, all I really can do, right now, in 2012, is what I know I should do !!

This is the year. America hangs in the balance. The world is watching !! Your children are watching !! The small business down the street is watching !! Those who wish only to take are watching !! America's enemies are watching !! They know for sure that you didn't know what you were doing last time !! They'd love for you to make the wrong decision ..... again !! .....You've only one choice (or at least that's how it should be) .... It's 2012 America !!! What will YOU do ??

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