Being a senior in her seventieth decade going on her eightieth, I can't help but look back on what is happening to our nation.

We understand and realize the problems we've had, but I've always felt that our brave American people have been able to move forward knowing that this is part of our history.

"History" -- A word that will always live in us as long as we live, because if we don't accept that it is part of us, we must move forward from that point or we are doomed to repeat it.

I didn't really care for history in school, but getting older, you begin to realize how important it is. When I look at the incidents today, I can't help but wonder how much time some people spend working on our future (which really needs it) and not on tearing down our history and throwing it in the trash?

In looking back on our history, I can't imagine how incredibly brave our founding fathers were in attempting to create a nation from all different peoples, nationalities, colors, creeds and religions. How brave would we have been at that time? Think about it and what they endured. I really, really, find it hard to believe that these same people would have looked at the British forces at Lexington in their shiny uniforms with their weapons and said "Well, let's forget this." Then they would have cured up into balls and crawled under the covers again.

I remember well the stories I heard about a young, 16-year old woman from Czechoslovakia crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the steerage accommodation of a ship. She carried all of her belongings with her, along with letters telling the proper authorities where she was going, because she could speak no English. (She ended up in Chicago). Unfortunately, on Ellis Island, the officials were too thorough and had her open her special suitcase from her mother. It was a windy day, with dirt and grime blowing everywhere. When they opened it, small white fluffs began blowing that escalated into a snowstorm of goose feahters that were  meant for a "dunka" or comforter, she was going to make for herself.

How often have we been disappointed when things didn't work out, but because of our courage and the history ingrained in us from previous generations, we continue on and move forward with our lives and work to make them better with the help of God.

During this past week I have let my temper get the better of me. You ask how could this happen -- a senior showing emotion? Yes, it can happen, especially with the silliness and absurdity going on. The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Yankees have decided to remove the song of Kate Smith's "God Bless America" (a song written by Irving Berlin) from their sports program, after many years of playing this magnificent tribute to America. Not only that, but they had the utmost nerve and and disgraceful action of covering her statute and removing it from the sports stadium? What an insult to Kate Smith, her family, and the American people. Consider also the owners of those teams that allowed certain people to take control of the situation. Shame on you. These situations are getting more and more outrageous. Will they ever stop?

When I was younger, I remember having chills just listening to Kate Smith's magnificent rendition of "God Bless America." How could you not? They were simple lyrics about our nation written by Irving Berlin:

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God bless America, land that I love

Stand beside her and guide her

Through the night with the light from above

From the mountains to the prairies

to the oceans white with foam

God bless America, my home sweet home

This may sound emotional, and I guess it is. I love this country and will to the day I die, with its strengths and weaknesses. It is us, our families, our neighbors, our churches, the people we work with, and so much more. It is also part of our 200 year old history.

We are part of a living experiment. Let's show how well this is working by moving forward in a thoughtful, reasonable manner, with the help of God.

If your church is interested in submitting to the Clergy View column, contact Clint Walker at 217-238-6864 or CWalker@jg-tc.com


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