I was irritated to see advertising in my inbox today for Singles Day, which takes place on 11/11 (or four 1’s: the most “single” day of the year) because nothing should take away from celebrating our nation’s veterans, particularly not a day that emphasizes the individual over the many. Thank you so much to all of the brave men and women who work tirelessly to preserve the freedom of all Americans and to protect our nation. Thank you to my dad who served his country on a hospital ship in World War II when he was just 17 years old. Thank you to my uncles who also served in WWII and in particular remembrance of my uncle Dashiell who was killed in the line of duty in the Korean War. And for all of the families who sacrificed the time and company of their loved ones in order to make the world a safer place, thank you. You deserve more than a day; our remembrance should happen all year round.
When I was in 8th grade, I took a social studies class called American Political Behavior. The teacher, Mr. Esformes, was a brilliant, impassioned man who was intent on teaching a bunch of adolescents to appreciate our system of government. We watched films including the Jimmy Stewart classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Missiles of October about the Cuban Missile Crisis. On the wall of the classroom was a quotation that I have never forgotten: “I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for you to be able to say it.” Our country encompasses all sorts of people, many of whom share very few beliefs or values with me or my family, however, on this day, I am so very appreciative for all of the patriots who fight for all of us to express our opinions and to have the privilege of living in this amazing country.