CALL YOURSELF AN AMERICAN, you'd better be able to look President George Washington in the eye. Tell that Revolutionary War soldier who crossed the Delaware River in freezing cold temperatures with no shoes on his feet that his sacrifice wasn't worth it. I dare you.
Stand in front of thousands ... THOUSANDS... of dead men in bloody uniforms in places like Vietnam, Korea, Normandy. Stand there and explain to them why this country was not worth their sacrifice. Men who scrambled through the bodies on that beach, terror in their gazes, are worth more than all the wealth of this nation.
Their blood cries out from the ground. Their faces gleam across the landscape of this country, its hills and valleys, rivers and lakes. The very soil we walk on became American at a high cost. The cities we’ve built, the highways which knit us together, only exist because these did not turn aside from duty, from honor.
Today, in this hour, honor demands its price. We are Americans. Not separate states with separate ideals, not separate cultures nor separate identities. Not a House divided. Not a government sold to the highest bidder. That which those soldiers died for does not need a new constitution but for us to stand upon an old one, a document whose words our founders birthed in their grips as the bombs burst in the air over a flag which did not fall down.
Stand tall, American. Stand tall, shoulder to shoulder, from sea to shining sea, and with these soldiers’ lost lives fixed in your gazes, hold tight to the principles we were founded on and refuse to back down.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” | The Preamble, U.S. Constitution
Images: Wikimedia Commons
Suzanne D. Williams, Author