Story, Yet Unrealized

The June 1st rains are falling steadily. It is Tuesday…but it feels like Monday. Yesterday was Memorial Day. We are a country that is based on an idea. The idea is really a grand experiment that encompasses the family of man. Many nations…if not most…arise from their shared ethnicity. I visited the military cemetery at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. MJ’s uncle and aunt moved there when they retired, from Southern Illinois. Merle fought in World War II. He and Lauretta are buried at Ft. Bliss. As I walked among the white grave stones I saw crosses carved into some of the markers…but I also saw Stars of David and Crescent and Stars. Men and women from all nationalities and religions and ethnicities fought and died for our freedom and for the Story that they had been taught about the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. They lay down that which was most precious to them for the Story that captivated their imaginations and held their hearts. Many had come to the United States from lands that they suffered oppression in. Many came because they were hungry and afraid….and they saw the Great Lady,’ lift her lamp beside the Golden Door.’

‘Not like the brazen giant of greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land,

Here at our sea-washed gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lighting, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome, her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

‘Keep ancient lands, you stored pomp!’

Cries she

With silent lips . “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-most to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’

Emma Lazarus

African Americans inspire me. With all of the suffering that they have endured in our land of opportunity…yet they still love this country… The untold pain of slavery and the extreme prejudice and ‘Jim Crow’ and the Tulsa Massacre that happened 100 years ago…and yet they still strive to realize the fulfillment of the Story of our county…

The Story of what the United States can be is unparalleled in its supreme beauty and simplicity. It is a Story that I was taught in school that we had already realized…but I was taught wrong. The idea of America is a nation of all peoples…a melting pot…a gathering of God’s creation…the human family… and strength and traditions of many cultures. It is an idea that is free of marginalization and it a lot like the Bible Story Books that I read as a child…’Jesus love the little children…all the little children of the world…red yellow black and white…all are precious in his sight…Jesus loves the little children of the world.’

3 thoughts on “Story, Yet Unrealized

  1. Every time I visit Europe I visit my grandfather’s war grave (First World War) I sit by his side and tell him how the peace for which he fought got all twisted up somehow, we have learned nothing from your sacrifice, for only the dead know an end to war.

    The suns shining now on this green field in France,
    The soft wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance,
    The trenches have vanished long under the plough,
    No gas, no barbwire, no guns firing now,
    But here in this graveyard, it’s still no man’s land,
    the countless white crosses in mute witness stand,
    To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man,
    and a whole generation that was butchered and dumbed
    (No man’s land, by Eric Bogle).

    Liked by 1 person

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