Do you recall that magnificent, unapologetic juggernaut of democracy and freedom called America?
Do you remember the America that made herself into a mighty power that she used to protect the oppressed elsewhere in the world, asking for little in return?
Do you remember how America created, built, manufactured, invented, assembled, hammered, welded, bought, sold, sailed, flew, plowed, sowed, harvested and shared?
Do you remember the America that was defined by her willingness to help, even to die for, others?
Do you remember that when there was war, America rescued the oppressed and rebuilt her enemies?
Do you remember Château-Thierry, Marne or St Quentin Canal? Do you remember the Maine?
Do you remember Guadalcanal, Normandy, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Sicily, North Africa, Inchon, Puson or Pork Chop Hill? Do you remember Khe Sahn, Dak To, or Hue? Do you remember the Berlin Airlift?
What about Kuwait, Bosnia, Somalia, Basra, Karbala, Baghdad or Fallujah? Kabul, Tora Bora, Kandahar or Abbottabad?
Do you remember Arlington or the two dozen foreign cemeteries where American warriors are laid to rest?
Do you remember when peoples and countries were thankful for what we did?
Do you remember when we treasured our veterans?
Do you remember when non-citizens weren’t given preferences over Americans?
Do you remember America when her citizens didn’t expect – demand – that government provide for them?
Do you remember when children thought the greatest thing in the world was to be President of the United States?
Do you remember when America’s President “preserved, protected and defended” America and would never apologize for her or bow to the ruler of another country?
Do you remember when America was hated by men of evil because we threatened their intent, and not by countries that question her commitment?
Do you remember when America’s Founding Fathers were revered as visionary pioneers of liberty and not reviled as “a bunch of old white men?”
Do you remember when America was trusted and respected?
Do you remember the America that cherished and not challenged religious freedom?
Do you remember when America looked to her Constitution for guidance and not loopholes?
Do you remember America when a movie for adults meant that children couldn’t understand the plot and not because of foul language and nudity?
Do you remember when you could watch the news in America and not have facts washed out by political ideology?
Do you remember when it was safe for children to play outdoors until dark and walk to school by themselves and be safe in those schools?
Do you remember when criminals were treated as criminals and the police were not?
Do you remember the American soul?
She was never perfect. America has had her internal troubles. We need to remember that she hasn’t always treated all of her citizens equally and that prejudices, corruption, greed and vanity have left their stains on her history. Nor should we ignore that technology, scientific discovery, ethnic diversity, social maturity and practice have made America better in thousands of ways.
Through all the sad and dark times, self-imposed or forced upon her, America has been good. Though, at times she has tolerated her own injustices, she has been sought for justice by peoples around the world. For over two hundred years, America’s destiny has been the providence of liberty and freedom for millions of people around the globe.
America’s fate – her future – is ours to decide.
Don’t ever forget that.