America Strong

Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and U.S. Capitol
[Copyright Andy Richards 1982]
SO much angst. This is as close to a “political” post as I will probably ever get here.

On media, and social media, and in political circles, we have lots of strident voices telling us that if we don’t accede to their viewoint, the world will come to an end. But when I talk among my own friends and family (and all of us have very diverse views), not so much. Instead, we agree that there are real issues in our society today and that they need to be addressed in a reasonable manner, involving frank discussion and – frankly – in most cases, compromise. And they need to be addressed together. And regardless of the events around us, we will get through it to see better days ahead.

“compromise” is not a bad word

CONTRARY to the strident voices, “compromise” is not necessarily a bad word. It requires us to listen as much as we preach, and to think, research and learn, before we speak. It requires us to understand that though we may have indivual rights, the rights of others (sometimes the majority and sometimes the minority) must be considered in the exercise of our own rights. Nor does the word “unity” (though it sometimes is assumed to be that way by these voices) mean “everyone comes to my view.” I recenly had an exchange online with a person whose views are always loud and clear. He made the comment that certain “undecided” voters must be “told” how to vote, since they didn’t seem to “get” it. When I suggested that they might need to be told to vote, and perhaps he could try to persuade them that his views were correct, he strongly “stood by his statment.” That’s not “unity.” But it is strident. And inflexible. We live in a nation that is – by design – supposed to have room for differences of belief and opinion.

I was especially enamored with the views of these magnificent structures at night

WHEN I went to Washington, D.C. during my post-secondary education, I was moved by the majesty of the monuments around the city. And I was especially enamored with the views of these magnificent structures at night. The Jefferson, Iwo-Jima, (the Vietnam Monument wasn’t there yet) were all grand. But perhaps the most symbolic and enduring are the Washington and Lincoln.

RECENTLY, while “curating” some old images, I came across this one, and immediately it occurred to me that these monuments speak of endurance. This country has seen wars on its soil (including the most divisive period of our history), changes of leadership, (sometimes glacially slow) change of things that our collective conscience deems “wrong, and througout its history, very strong differences in views. And we have survived. And endured. And I am confident that we will live on. Together, we are strong.

One thought on “America Strong

  1. The monuments. Nah. You see in 1970-71, the government disabused me of the notion that a bunch of stone meant anything. The only monument in DC worth much is one that is a slit in the ground. Difference in views. No. Not me. I have no views. I just want peace.

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