When my German-born father entered first-grade in Michigan, he could not speak one word of English. It was 1916, and we were at war with Germany. My father said he ran home through the alleys after school, trying to run fast enough to keep from being stoned by older boys who thought throwing stones at a six-year-old was the right thing to do, because he was German. That was World War I.My father and his two brothers all served in World War II. During that war, we hurled our fear at innocent Japanese-Americans and put them into prison camps.
In 1968 I married a Vietnam War Veteran who had served in a war where the lines of right and wrong were terribly blurred, and where stones were hurled at returning soldiers. My first husband hurled his own self back and forth between the proud Marine that he never ceased to be and the far left hippie that he became. He raged a terrible internal war. It took the VA ten years to honor his two purple hearts with a rating of 100% disabled due to internal head injuries sustained in combat, and to try to give him the medical attention that he needed. His story does not end well, but wars do not really have happy endings.Now we are doing a better job of honoring our military, but we are back to hurling stones at innocent Americans, this time at innocent Muslim Americans.
I can only put here on my blog my most fervent prayer that all Americans of good faith on both sides of the aisle please reach out to all Americans of all faiths and stand up for the freedoms that make us the great nation that we are. We are founded upon freedom of religion, and to infringe upon someone else's right to this freedom or to burn other people's holy books or their places of worship not only undermines our own freedom and safety at home, it will undermine the sacrifices of our military abroad who are fighting for the very freedoms that we cherish.The hate-mongering that I am hearing is frightening me beyond words. I sit with bowed head before this kind of hate.
With our precious freedoms that we have in this country that we love so much comes an underlying assumption that we will treat others with respect and dignity. Let us please show the world that we really are who we say we are, a country where people of all faiths, all races, and all cultures live together in peace.
I am a pacifist myself, and I pray for human beings to find ways to solve problems that do not require killing one another. In a perfect world somewhere..