Friday, May 25, 2012
On this Memorial Day weekend it is fitting to reflect on those whose graves we decorate, on those warriors whose sacrifice purchased our pursuit of happiness. It is a time for gatherings at lakes and parks - families coming together, and officials pointing to their accomplishments and viewing perceived threats with alarm. One of the frequent phrases that keeps challenging me as I listen to ceremonial addresses and urgent campaign appearances in this election year, refers to "America's Best Days." Always these days "still lie ahead." For a number of years - after crossing that Clinton Bridge into this Century - I have mentally disputed this claim about best days, to myself. After five years of a cruel recession, with college debt now exceeding credit card debt, with stubbornly high unemployment and record housing foreclosures, where ARE these better and best days? Where are the urgent measures to convince us we are getting there? No, I feel the gloom of the discouraged worker, the college graduate back at home without job interviews. The harsh recession brought on by financial manipulation and dishonest dealing on Wall Street keeps on punishing millions of ordinary citizens. So let the lies and the exaggerations about "best days" come to an end. Let us try to remember those who gave so much so that we could have another chance at life and liberty. Let us resolve to come together, help one another, and seek to end partisan, mean-spirited speech. Let us resolve to look to our better angels, to our wiser statesmen, and dig out of these tough times together. Maybe then our days as Americans "won't be so bad."