I Want the Old America I Knew Back.

I remember when the 200th anniversary of our country occurred. It was a very big deal! Growing up in Erie, PA, we only had one newspaper: the Erie Daily Times. Now, to be sure, they wanted you to believe they had competition! (That is why on Sunday the newspaper that was delivered to your doorstep at the hands of a young newspaper carrier was called, “The Sunday Times News”!) but, you guessed it, same paper, same publisher, different name!

So, what was the significance of the paper and the year 1976? Color ink was introduced to mainstream news publishing and this edition – the one that celebrated our country and it is 200thbicentennial birthday was in glowing colors of Red, White, and Blue stripes all the way down Page 1! And yes, above and below the fold! (Like I said, it was a very bigdeal!)

At any rate, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! So, when it was delivered, I ogled at every tint of color and at every word and then I found a box, wrapped it lovingly and carefully in aluminum foil from my mother’s kitchen cabinet, and placed it gently under my bed for safe keeping! I was so very proud to be an American that day, even as youngster.

Today, I am still proud, but I am sorely disappointed. This is notthe country I remember. And, what I want to do, is to bring it back to that day on Sunday, July 4th, 1976 when every person swelled with love for a country that had been proud to have its door a statue holding a bright lamp that proclaimed to welcome everyone who was willing to work hard, give back to others, embrace the American dream, and love her, too, just like me…just like you. You see, we were all immigrants. This was all of our adopted home. We knew it back then. Today, not so much.

Today, we are smug and unabashed and even violent. Today, we separate children from their parents and put them into detention camps that are bad even prisoners would file grievances! Today, we are unwilling to seeothers, let alone love them or recognize their inherent humanity. Today, we are arrogant, mean, rude; we are the playground bully on a national stage. Today, we are a nation that I no longer recognize. I would like the old America back that I once knew.
No, not perfect, and I am sure I romanticized a bit here, but one that was kinder, gentler, and more loving.
Happy Birthday, America. I pray we find you again.

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