Happy Birthday, US of A!

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Today, the US of A celebrates its 241st birthday.

It was, like with any birth, one that was born out of travail, crying, shouts of glee, bloodshed and even death. Truly the continent was in heavy labor as the push and screams of thousands were heard around the world.

That sorrow and agony gave way, however, to jubilation as the nation emerged scathed and covered with the scars and trappings of nativity. But as difficult as that birth was, the struggle was not over.

There would be growing pains, illnesses and diseases to overcome. There would be those who would attempt to reclaim and to destroy that life which was born out of a pledge to devote honor, lives and fortunes to see this epic birth come to be and last through all time.

Through the years, as with any baby maturing to toddler to child to teen to adult, this great nation of states joined to form a “more perfect union” had to go through its share of perils, tests and trials. In each instance, in the end, the US of A emerged on the other side a better nation.

The most trying time is undisputed, which is what occurred during what I would call the teenage years, puberty, when literally brother was pitted against brother, sister against sister, sons and daughters against mothers and fathers. The greatest and most costly toll of lives and bloodshed threatened to tear the nation apart. Yet through the trauma of the Civil War, the War Between the States, a united and stronger country came of age.

Dark days still lay ahead, but it seemed the worst had passed.

Through more battles and more wars, we find ourselves today celebrating the nation we’ve become and feeling the pain of the mistakes we have made. We honor the lives who gave their all to keep this nation the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Now, we look forward to the days and years ahead.

We are traveling the rough and choppy sea of economic uncertainty, but which seems to be slowly recovering.

The ship of state must traverse the gulf as the skipper maneuvers the ship to avoid crashing on the rocks of lost hope, despair, keeping an eye on the course and the port of serenity which lies in the distance.

The tides of global unrest threaten to engulf us. We must stay resolute and strong. Together we can ride the waves and dock in safe harbor.

Many have lost hope.

Many no longer aspire to the American Dream.

Many wonder if the flag will still wave for much longer.

But we are Americans.

We will survive.

From the Cornfield, America, may she always be that shining city on a hill to which others seek to aspire.

Happy Independence Day!

Be Wary – Not Scared

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield
From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

The Islamic State’s tentacles have stretched into the US of A.

The deadly shooting of 14 and wounding as many in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday put ISIS in our living rooms. Once more Americans have been shaken to their collective core. Once more terror has penetrated our shields.

Unlike what happened following the horrific attack on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the downing of flight over Pennsylvania, where the country unified with partisan political divides for a moment disappeared, this time, Americans are divided.

Partisan bickering has been heightened. Ideological lines have been drawn. People are running scared.

Healthy fear is good. It kicks in our instinct for self-survival. But over-reaction and fear based, not on facts, but on ideological and partisan rhetoric can be as destructive as the act itself which gave rise to the debates.

We must be wary – but not live our lives scared. We must put it all in perspective.

This is not about guns.

This is not about political parties.

This is not about religion.

This is about evil people who wish to kill whoever disagrees with their warped view of the world, life and religion. An Ohio State University professor provided this information on Michael Smerconich’s program on CNN this morning:

  • Chances of getting killed by a terrorist in the US – 1 in 4 million.
  • Chances of getting killed by a gun in America – 1 in 9 million.
  • Chances of getting killed in a vehicle accident – 1 in 400,00.

We must go on with life.

We must not allow terror to grip us.

We must not be paralyzed by fear.

We must not resort to knee-jerk reactions.

What we must do is remain vigilant, alert and wary.

What we must do is life our lives in the freedom we so cherish.

From the Cornfield, our best response to those who wish to do us harm is to go on and not show the fear in our eyes, words or actions.

Let freedom ring with life lived on our terms, not in reaction to terror.