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Acting American

To the Valley News:

Is someone who is doing little or nothing of value with his time and energy, as the rule not the exception, creating anything to be proud of, as an American? In my experience, in the absence of substance, people in a group jump to take sides, so that they can say, “I’m... (something), so as to NOT feel empty or left out. They want to be a part of something important. In the midst of routine absence of action using a word in a wishful way over and over becomes vacuous. Our soldiers in WWII new and felt they were fighting for freedom, family, safety against evil, and (you fill in additional values and aspirations). We take so much for granted today that we don’t feel the value. So, too often we plug in the word, American, knowing that it is supposed to represent something we all can value together. We end up feeling and being together around largely nothing but a word, a word that used to mean something,

So Much that we could feel proud of, and even die for. I can imagine the anger that may come my way after saying this, but will it be righteous anger, or simple defense of self and ego? What will it take to get most of us, not only our military, back to being and acting AMERICAN in place of just saying?

Don Austin, Elizabethtown

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