The America I Remember

February 9, 2016

What I remember… Old age is such a liberating thing because we have so many memories and so much time to reflect on them. Right now, my memories of America are good ones so those are the ones I’m going to write about. In the not so distant future, my memories of what has become of America will not be good so I’m squeezing out all the goodness of my memories of the America I grew up in.

One of my memories is that every day we went to class and started our day with the Pledge of Allegiance. In those days, we stood up and saluted the American flag. Later on, we stood up and put our right hand over our heart and recited the Pledge of Allegiance facing the American flag.

Then we sat down and had a couple of minutes of silence to pray to whatever God we believed in or just to quiet our minds if we didn’t want to pray. And that was how we started each school day.

There was no religious connotation to our moments of silence because our schools had a mixture of religions and they were all respected. We only had two kinds of holidays, Jewish holidays and Christian holidays and some families who intermarried let their children stay home from school on both the Jewish holidays and the Christian holidays.

But those were the days when we wanted the best for America and we were proud to be Americans. Nowadays, we’re told that we should be ashamed to be Americans and there is so much hatred and intolerance for each other’s beliefs. It pains me to see the American flag taken down in the Oval Office of the White House because we’re told that it offends some people. In its place is a yellow curtain which many people are calling a Muslim prayer curtain.

I don’t think we had ever had a president give a formal press conference where there wasn’t an American flag behind him, and sometimes, there were several American flags placed around the room. I miss seeing the American flag in the Oval Office during a formal press conference. I miss the days when everyone was proud to be an American.

Nowadays, the American flag has been taken down in public places because it offends the refugees. Instead of the refugees being grateful that America is offering them asylum and a whole host of welfare benefits that they didn’t earn, they complain about everything that symbolizes America. They are offended by our national anthem and they don’t want us to sing it.

It saddens me to see such a divided country where greed, corruption, hatred, and intolerance are the basis of our government and of our citizens. And there is a large part of me that yearns for the good old days and the love and pride of being an American.

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