July 4th Message 2019 — Ernie Fazio
We are about to celebrate the founding of The United States. Think about what we chose to call ourselves. The United States? Really? Are we still united? Have we allowed ourselves to drift apart? Maybe we are now like an old marriage that has grown tired and unexciting.
Let me caution those among us that think the end is near. It isn’t! But the strength of our fabric is being tested. That is not new. We have had crisis before and serious divides that we eventually dealt with. We will again.
There was nothing in our history that was more divisive than our Civil War. After killing 600,000 of us we managed to repair that horrendous chapter of our existence and go on.
Think about the positives that we embrace. With 330 million people we live in relative peace with each other. I do not wish to present this country in a Pollyanna fashion because I realize as well as anybody else, this is not a perfect country. We are like the person who once asked, “Why is it I am always in a state of becoming? Why is it that I never am?” The person who stops growing is dead either physically or intellectually.
The country that stops growing is also dead. But in the same manner as the individual, this country has grown in fits and starts. We may well be in that phase, but that hiatus in our growth will end, and growth will continue.
When I refer to growth I am looking at the way we treat our people. How we devise policies that fosters world peace. Over my own lifetime I have seen an America that created peace and prosperity for us and trading partners (The Marshall Plan). I have seen a country that treated soldiers returning from WWII fairly by offering them what came to be known as the GI Bill. (In previous wars we stiffed the veterans after the wars were over and that goes back to the war for independence)
This nation’s founders knew from the beginning that we were not emerging in the world as a “finished product”. We still had slavery, women and poor people could not vote. We made those adjustments and many others.
The Constitution was created to form a more perfect union. We were not perfect at birth. We are not perfect now, but no one can deny that we came a long way. And no one can deny we have a long way to go. I promise you we will.
The journey is not over!