I’ve just seen America
South Carolina, North Carlina and Virginia occupied Day 1; with Virginia, West Virginia, a sliver of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York occupying Day 2.
The simplest observation is that I saw a beautiful country, rolling hills, farm land, small towns, small mountains, broad rivers and little babbling brooks just reinforced what you and I have known, that our country is beautiful.
As I drove along these two past days, I was also confronted by some of our ugly past. My journey took me through areas that just about 150 yrs ago were covered in bloody bodies, devastated forests and destroyed farm lands, as our country tore itself apart, brother fighting brother. Slavery, the Union, State sovereignty, along with family honor, regional pride and the rite of passage to manhood joined forces to kill nearly 700,000 American men and wreak havoc on countless families.
But in the same areas, I saw people of all races and walks of life working together, playing together, eating together and I saw hope. I saw hope that even though we don’t all agree on so many things, we don’t have to tear ourselves and our country apart again. We already easily find ways to work and play with those we might disagree with about free markets solutions vs. government stimulus or extreme isolationism vs excessive military interventionism. Now, we just have to find a ways to talk to each other with the understanding that we are all in this together and that we must find solutions that we can all live with. No one group is completely right and since there are so many differing positions, no one group can get what they want all the time.
I also saw the melding together of the past and the future, the “way we’ve always done it,” with “a new way. I passed a museum to PA’s oil history and saw refineries in NY, while having passed more than 30 wind turbine atop the ridge line near Altoona, PA, The most compelling thing about this to me was there was no need for a fight between the two. Wind energy is not ready to send fossil fuels to the retirement home, and oil does not need to muscle alternative energy out. We need both and they are both being harnessed for the benefit of us, so join me in embracing a brighter tomorrow.
I ease on to sleep with one final: these past two days I’ve seen America and I really like what I’ve seen.