What Will I Do For America?
I was born in Washington State and grew up in the rural town of Grapeview. The area is wide by miles but poor in tax revenue, still remaining absent of a mayor and police station. The population is around 400, spiking slightly in the summer when the city folk come to their vacation cabins. The men volunteer at the Fire Station, and if they don’t have sons, then they enroll their daughters.
The phone lines all connected with local neighbors, referred to as “Party Lines”. This was not pleasant if the house next to you had a teenager. During those days the Fire House used a siren that could be heard for miles around. Everyone knew to get off of the country roads because the speed limit did not exist when the sound of distress alarmed the birds into flight. Looking back, I relish I was able to spend my youth in the last of the simple times.
The 80’s brought news reports of latch key kids in the city, but we didn’t have such luxury. The schedule of the children in town revolved by the strict rules in place with one or more parental figures who were monitoring our activities. Our schedules were public record, and we could be found in school, on swim team, at a 4-H meeting, or Grange event. There was no lack of chores, our food supply was supplemented throughout the year with produce from the garden, freeze dried vegetables, home made grape juice, wine and jelly. I weeded the garden, picked the fruit, fed the animals, stacked the wood, and took care of any thing from chasing loose pigs to digging fence post holes. Looking back, I wonder how I had any time left in the day to ride my horse and beat the boys (as often as possible) playing war games in the woods.
I knew I was poor, and I also knew I had my own horse. I knew we struggled and I knew we always survived. The inside of my home was ugly but the view of the man laying down as I looked at the Olympic mountains was unbelievable. I knew I was lucky I was born in America.
If you asked my father he would tell you I didn’t know the trees from the forests, and maybe that is still true. There was one thing I did recognize in my travels across the United States: the streets really are paved with gold!
I found it fascinating that the citizens grew complacent in some areas, sometimes never even leaving the street they grew up on. Yet all around us was immigrants risking their lives to get their families across the border for a chance to pursue happiness.
Once the lucky ones immigrated in, they worked many hours a day, pooling the family’s earnings together, opening businesses, and going to school. The opportunity in America is right under our feet and in each breath we take, and yet our fears has slowed our progress.
There are many reasons I attribute our country’s ability to become the super power of the world in hundreds of years over nations with history of thousands behind them. The greatness is the attributes that we inherited as our birth right. The first is bravery, to leave home for a new world. The second is courage to survive the battles of nature. The third is intelligence sharpened by education of philosophy, craftsmanship, math, English, politics, and science. The fourth is purpose , which also includes faith of any kind …. for we are One Nation Under God. The fifth is the willingness to stand for our principles and not appease anyone else if we question the righteousness of the man or the deeds of the unjust. The sixth is the willingness to die for our country, in order for freedom will prevail and burn a desire in the hearts of mankind’s struggle from tyranny and opportunity for greatness.
Our founding father’s debated over the laws of God and the nature of humanity. They understood a science that isn’t given its own course in school, but is as real as any mathematical equation known as Natural Law. As citizens of America it is our duty to know our history, and to read the living documents. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, Articles of Confederation, amendments, and Declaration of Independence are the foundation and reason for our success as an immigrant nation, fighting for these principles for all of mankind to choose his own destiny.
We’ve made mistakes in the past, we’ve made progress, we’ve created peace, we’ve dropped the Atom bomb, we’ve occupied territories, we’ve watched people risk their life to vote for democracy, we’ve sold out to special interests, and we’ve moved out of the industrial age to globalism. There is always checks and balances ….. that’s life, that’s government, that’s human nature.
I’m hearing the sirens piercing my ears from as far away and long ago as the old fire house, and the call of duty awaits, all hands on deck, because plumes of smoke lies ahead of us, and there always is another big fire to extinguish . I know that it’s not too late to learn the fundamental principles that made our nation great.
I’m starting with reading the documents that every human being should read, and as the words digest in my brain, I will share the journey with you, because after all, we’re in this together.