Monday, June 07, 2004

(Monday) Mourning in America

The past week has been one of those bizarre and sad stretches that reminds us why we need comedians, heroes and leaders.

Ronald Reagan, actor, conservative and our 40th president died after a lengthy battle with a disease that robbed him and us of a leader who understood the Presidency, leadership and how to live with a smile.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. John Kerry said it well: "Ronald Reagan's love of country was infectious. Even when he was breaking Democrats hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate. Despite the disagreements, he lived by that noble ideal that at 5 p.m. we weren't Democrats or Republicans, we were Americans and friends."

Maybe during this week of mourning we should all ponder John Kerry's observation.

A horse also broke our hearts this weekend--Smarty Jones slowed in the stretch and a long-odds favorite Birdstone deprived us of another Triple Crown. Like me, millions of people who really don't care about horse racing were swept up in Smart Jones's bid for racing immortality. We so desperately need a hero, a victory, a shared sense of accomplishment that we all gasped in disbelief as Smarty faded.

It is a shame that most of our politicians,professional athletes and media pundits lack the class of John Servis, Smarty's trainer, who immediately ran over and congratulated Birdstone's owner and trainer.

In France, the world gathered and paid tribute to brave and courageous souls of all nationalities for their sacrifices to rid the world of tyranny and fascism 60 years ago during D-Day. It is shame that people of all nationalities have forgotten the lessons of this war and seemed doomed to endless repetitions of history.

I would encourage the French to remember the ten-thousands of Americans who came to places they couldn't pronounce to help free them. Let's get past the current acrimony and remember our shared past and agree to watch each other's backs in the future.

I would encourage the Germans, who we defeated to remember who spent billions helping them rebuild. Contrary to the hysterics and lunatic anti-American propaganda saturating Europe right now, we have never been heartless conquerors, never subjugated populations to our will. With the French, we should all stand together as future Fascists attempt to defeat us on the battlefield or from within.

Free people everywhere need to remember how to laugh again--how to disagree with class again--and most importantly learn how to become friends again.
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