Veterans Day – 2016
June 6th, 1944
When the War started, 19-year-old John left his family farm to enter the fight, leaving his younger siblings behind to help Mom and Dad run the family farm. John now clutches his rifle tightly as the landing craft door falls open. He and his fellow soldiers’ storm into the surf and make a struggle to the beach. Machine gun fire and explosions blast all around him. He sees some of his companions shot – limbs torn from bodies – death is all around him. His only adornments are his dog tags and a crucifix. In spite of the horrors around him he presses on. He manages to reach the high ground later in the day and continues fighting on through Europe, liberating town after town and receiving the hugs and cheers of those he helped liberate. He is wounded but survives World War II. He carries the scars of battle with him throughout the rest of his life. He returns home after the war but the nightmares remain. He marries and has a family – teaching his children the value and greatness of his country, the United States of America.
November 9th, 2016
19-year-old John as at the University, having left home for the education granted him by student loans. He has retreated to a “safe space” provided by the school administration due to his distress at the election results. His adornments are an earring in one ear and a small piece of jewelry pierces his eyebrow. He and some classmates were in a room watching the election results and were horrified at the outcome – some breaking into tears. His whole hope of having a free college education appears to have ended with the election results. He is handed a coloring book and some Play-doh by school staff as a means of comfort. At the “safe space”, where students are guaranteed not to hear anything offensive, he and classmates plan their demonstration for the next day. He already has the materials for making his sign, “America Was Never Great!”
Where has America gone in the years between our two Johns? What happened in America to have two such diverse outlooks on life in our country? Young people are first influenced by those who raise them – then those who educate them – then those in the media and leadership. With whom does the responsibility exist that created each John? Who presented the influences that created each outcome? Answer those questions and you will know how each outcome developed. And, you will realize the actual direction our country is taking now.
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