Greetings Friends and Neighbors!
It’s July! Halfway through 2020, there are a lot of things upon which to reflect. As we prepare to celebrate this year’s 4th of July, doing so will be with limitations in which none of us may have contemplated four months ago.
For many of us old enough to remember, the present times seem very reminiscent of the late 60’s but fortunately not as severe. Social unrest, protests, marches in the streets, rioting, looting and assassinations of leaders such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Peace protests, anti-war Vietnam rallies, Kent State and a counter-culture of openness towards drugs, sex and attention about racism emanated into a turbulence and melding of a new generation perhaps beginning with Woodstock and to many boomers some of the most popular music ever written in a generation.
In every counter-culture clash in the history of this nation, the clash has resulted in a re-set and a new or modified cultural norm. Since the discovery of this new continent and the resulting migration often referred to as the Melting Pot, each historical event became a re-set of a new culture. For example; the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence, establishment of the Confederacy, the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the resulting Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and further amendments to the constitution, Civil War, Reconstruction, Industrialization, the Trans-Continental Railroad, the 1918 Pandemic, the Roaring 20’s, World Wars, Nuclear Fission, Cold Wars, the turbulent 60’s, and the tech boom of the 80’s leading to a more connected world through the use of social media, are all examples and evidence of past events resulting in cultural shifts.
The Corona virus global pandemic coupled with the senseless and unnecessary death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have become a current flashpoint of civil unrest and national protest. Each of these past events has arguably resulted in a better and more vibrant America. Despite the current hardships we face, we will likely emerge stronger, more prepared, and a more tolerant nation. While we should not condone the shameful and unlawful destruction of both private and public property including the desecration of public monuments, I offer encouragement that these current events too shall pass and result in yet another re-set of our culture in which peaceful and civil agitation will lead to a more inclusive society.
All said, it is quite another matter when legitimate social concerns are co-opted by those with a political agenda intent on destroying our nation and the Constitution of the United State which guarantees individual rights and freedoms in the pursuit of happiness. We need to be vigilant in being able to distinguish the difference!
My wish for you this 4th of July, is that you and your family should be able to celebrate the birth of our nation, to reflect upon both our weaknesses and our strengths and resolve to keeping America an enduring symbol of hope and freedom for which so many from all over the world seek to share in the American experience. The moment has arisen, where we as a people must listen to each other and pass this land on to the next generation as a better, stronger and more inclusive America for all.
Best of wishes for a safe, enjoyable and reflective 4th of July!