|My grandmother (second to the left) with her siblings and the Great-Great Grands|
My son's are still at Maple Grove and my wife and sister-in-law are still in Pratt, America.
But I'm not done. I have a friend whose area of expertise as a historian is genocide. He has studied the Holocaust and Rwanda and Darfur and ... (unfortunately there are too many 'ands' here). Its those 'ands' which are in my head.
What I am going to say next is going to put me on someone's list somewhere, and if it does, so be it. I would like to point out that I love my country and had the balls to serve it. I continue to serve it by entering a field of battle each day with a dozen 14-year olds; showing that the Rock 'em-Sock 'em Robots that is American History and Civics is messy but important. That being citizens can be a full-contact sport and you need to make sure you know how to play the game in order to be most effective.
National Pride has a shadow side that causes us to do horrific things in the name of country. Its easy to point to Africa and Europe and Asia and point to the ills of those regimes, past and present. But we need to remember our history is a complicated one as well. Native Americans. Slaves. The treatment of the Chinese and Japanese, not to mention other immigrant classes. Please note that I my goal is not to be a nationalistic buzz-kill. I think nationalism at its core asks us to look beyond our self-interest to our neighbor. I think it gives us leaders who become public servants over politicians. So I have an idea.
A recipe for National Pride: equal parts War and Peace...that's it. I am proud to have served my country and I thank God for those women and men who have and continue to serve. However, that is only have of the thought for today:
Part of remembering is remembering the peace part of that story and so here is my challenge for you this Memorial Day. Talk to a grandparent. Talk to a neighbor. Talk to each other. Ask those whose lives have been longer about the life before social media. Ask them about clothes lines. Ask them about train rides. Ask them about Benny Goodman. Ask them about ... You get the idea.