Last August I stood on Omaha beach on a cloudy afternoon, peering across the water. England was over there, but I couldn’t see it. It’s a round world and England was over the horizon.
Like many visitors Deb and I were overwhelmed. It was a heady mix of pride, grief and gratitude that struck me nearly numb. As a nation we had done the exceptional. Upon saving France from German occupation, at high cost of lives and treasure , we asked for nothing more than the ground in which to lay our dead.
Hell was afoot and America stood against evil. For no territory, treasure or tribute. Exceptional! Deb and I shared tears as we drove away. We knew how lucky we are to be born American.
At even a more intimate level, the very land upon which you were born and lived leaves a special feeling lingering in the deeper recesses of our souls. When I see the red mesas of western Oklahoma and feel the night wind off the plains cooling a summer night down, I know the depth of my roots.
Immigrants carry with them the intimate dream of hope in coming to a land of opportunities, where every mans dream of a future is equally valid. I find this a common dream, evident more so in the immigrants who have committed themselves to achieving the legal process of naturalization. The emotion most frequently expressed is gratitude. Gratitude for the dream of America. Cool!