Things I Am Grateful For As An American
Thursday, May 14, 2020
As our state and federal governments weigh the risks of reopening our economy amidst fears of the coronavirus, here is a short list of things that I am grateful for as an American...
…that the English colonists in Virginia and the Pilgrims in Massachusetts didn’t lose heart and return to England after the first drought, the first pestilence, or the first harsh winter.
…that the Minutemen didn’t turn tail and run when the British fired on them at Lexington and Concord.
…that George Washington and the Continental Army didn’t surrender after being routed at the Battles of Long Island and Fort Washington… and didn’t throw in the towel at Valley Forge.
...that Thomas Jefferson and William Seward didn't listen to their critics, but pushed ahead with their plans to purchase the Louisiana Territory and Alaska, respectively.
…that James Madison didn’t sit weeping in the ashes of a burned-down White House in 1814.
…that the Union Army – and President Lincoln – didn’t stop fighting until the nation was preserved and slavery was abolished.
…that the American Dream didn’t collapse and die as a result of the Great Depression.
…that the U.S. Congress didn’t engage in endless partisan bickering after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Instead – at President Roosevelt’s request – they responded with a bold and unanimous declaration of war.
…that the Armed Forces of the United States weren’t deterred by the deaths of an estimated 400,000 servicemen, but kept fighting gallantly to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and win World War II.
…that President Truman didn’t cave-in to pacifists, moralists, and naysayers. Going with his gut, he made the courageous decision to drop the atomic bomb - twice - potentially saving millions of American and Japanese lives in the process.
…that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t cower in fear, resort to violence, or abandon his dream of racial equality when he was arrested, beaten, and threatened with death.
…that after the fire aboard Apollo I claimed the lives of three brave astronauts, NASA didn’t shut down the entire space program. Undaunted, it continued its quest to land men on the moon and return them safely to Earth… a goal that was achieved in July 1969.
...that U.S. citizens didn't huddle indefinitely in their homes after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, but rallied together to battle Islamic jihadists.
My list isn't meant to be exhaustive. On the contrary, I would invite you to respond with a list of your own.
The bottom line is that Americans aren't quitters. We are eternal optimists and natural-born risk takers. So, instead of quaking in our boots over the possibility of more COVID-related deaths, let's accept the fact that life involves risk and nobody leaves this planet alive.
There are no guarantees... so let's get on with it!