A patchwork quilt is made by sewing together small pieces of material of different colors or patterns.
Although diverse in its nature, a patchwork is held together by a common thread. Should that thread then become undone, the whole piece goes to pieces. And is that not true of America?
Save for the native Americans, we are a country made up of peoples who came here from many other countries, with varying cultures, histories and traditions. With such a cornucopia of backgrounds this nation needed to develop a unique culture, history and tradition that Americans could embrace as their own in order to bring order and identity. And it is hoped that our identity is synonymous with integrity. This unique identity is the common thread of America that binds its citizens as one.
And through assimilation we are known throughout the world as one people, from different origins yet uniform. We are steadied as such in our reverence for our creed ( from life and liberty to the pursuit of happiness while safe-guarding truth and justice for all) and a constitution by which we are so governed.
There are factions of citizens in America who believe that she has been wrong from the start. Over the last seven decades, in particular, have these embers of discontent been enabled to smolder until it has now become enflamed. Primarily through the education system has the seeds of a culture so foreign to the tenants of America been sown and nurtured. The creed has been blasphemed against and the Constitution reviled by disobedience to the law that has so ordered and kept this country recognizable to its citizens. A two tiered justice system has been allowed to grow through indifference to the “shoe on the other foot test.” Lady Justice once blind to such favoritism now has eyes wide open to the identities and influences, or lack thereof, of litigants thereby tipping the scale toward one over the other. In a blatant disregard to the facts of cases the private citizen is in jeopardy of being denied his right of due process as promised by a once reliable steadfast Constitution.
That common thread is now stretched to the breaking point. When it is breached America as we have known it throughout history will be gone. Every past event since her birth is now being erased from memory. Downed statues, murials stripped from walls and removal of any references to the past events or persons will seal from the memories of future generations any concept of how and why America came to be. Left will be some monsterous mutation of America fomented by men and women driven by a lust for power, for power’s sake. Neither knowing nor appreciating from whence that power comes.
But there is hope in the common thread that binds Americans. For although we seem at opposite ends of an unscalable divide, we do share events that have remained traditional throughout history from which our history ironically is made. Search any calender and one can find numerous set aside occasions which we as one nation celebrate or soberly give homage. Such occasions are 4th of July, Pearl Harbor Day, D-Day, VE-Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so many others here not mentioned. We take off from work or schooling to observe these traditions. Further, at sporting events, that all hold so dearly, are rituals that although sometimes challenged still are carried out honorably: Standing and singing the National Anthem, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before school practices and events, town council meetings, Congress and the like. These are helpful reminders and visuals to all who participate that although inherently different we are still one in what we give our wills to. Our unity is no more apparent than when we are in danger of losing what America is. The comfort and security we enjoy is no different than what a child experiences when enfolded in his mother’s arms. That is how important tradition is to us in maintaining unity and peace among ourselves.
Even more crucial to maintianing our history and tradition is protection of our national treasure. That treasure is free people. Free to think and do one’s conscience within the confines of reasonable and rational laws which protect free people from those among them who seek the contrary. Tyranny is not unlikely to occur in a free society. For the greatest threat to freedom is freedom itself. Freedom presents an enormous responsibility. For in being free-willed means one can do what one wants or what one should. Through ignorance it can be understood why one unknowingly does evil. However, knowledge which transfigures not to wisdom loses sight of prudence and embraces such things wrought by the ego which too often finds its way to evil.
Who we are today is determined by our past. What is found in our past is…our history…our tradition. There is good and bad in our past. But to eliminate that past because of acts of transgressions then means to eliminate all of our history and tradition. Not all of which is bad. In doing so would be to throw the baby out with the bath water. And thereby ensure repeating the same bad form of that past while sadly leaving behind the best of who we are to build upon.