"God Bless America," written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938 in the run-up to World War II, takes the form of a prayer with introductory lyrics: "As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer for God's blessing and peace for the nation, stand beside her and guide her through the night."
This Memorial Day we were reminded of God blessing our “home sweet home” with brave heroes who gave their lives to keep America the single greatest citadel of freedom on earth. A diverse variety of American families recalled uplifting stories of family members that served in so many ways to protect liberty from adversaries that wished it destroyed.
Recollections from childhood are of Scouts placing American flags on the graves of fallen veterans in our small town cemetery. Some had died freeing the slaves in the Civil War. The Scouts saluted as the honor guard played "Taps." We were taught to love and honor our country and its heroes.
Yes, America had unsettled social issues back then, but was making progress on becoming one united people irrespective of where grandma and grandpa came from to treasure liberty and freedom. The diverse “many” were increasingly assimilating into “one” - E Pluribus Unum.
Today, regressive roadblocks to unity have emerged. Domestic antagonists are disparaging America’s momentous social progress. They are slandering our nation with an undefined, unfounded pretense that America is “systemically racist.” Many are arbitrarily segregating everyone by race, religion, sex, age and “identity” rather than recognizing individual characteristics. Using stereotypical tropes like “typical conservative, older white men,” some have judged every white person in America, young and old, to be “privileged” and racist.
- Hennen: Enough of the shameless, dangerous politics exploiting George Floyd's death
- Letter: The Black Lives Matter movement was formed because of people like Scott Hennen
Many antagonists advocate for the current cult-like indoctrination of our military service members and elementary school children with the hateful racism of anti-white, anti-American Critical Race Theory. Others lift up Marxist groups like Black Lives Matter that openly advocate hating and defunding police and destroying the nuclear family. Some obsessively fret over negative historic incidents they label “America’s dark side.”
To remove these roadblocks to unity, it is critical that all Americans return to the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His reliable road to a united America is built on judging every individual by “the content of their character,” never by “the color of their skin.” Americans must commit immediately to rejecting all ill-conceived disregard for Dr. King’s prophetic counsel.
Every element of American history, positive and negative, must be objectively taught to our children with the goal of instilling deep pride in being God-blessed unique individual Americans. The focus must be on critical lessons learned from historical events that have enabled us to progress and improve since 1776, a free society united with an undying promise of equal opportunities for all irrespective of race or “identity.”
It is time to wake up, end the divisive nonsense, and again unite as one great American family!
“From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home”
Hulett is a regular contributor to the opinion page.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.