25 April 2018
To: The Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S., Parkland, Florida
It has taken me some time to compose this message, as I feel that I have so much to say but must keep my message to one page.
Born exactly one week after D-Day, I am old enough to be your grandfather. While “being old” is seen as a detriment by many, for us elders it is not so bad. Staying active, alert and aware keeps one’s mind relatively young even as the body ages.
I am writing to you today to cheer you on! With a carefully focused leadership you can become a formidable force for America. In some respects, you have become that force already. But, a word of caution if I may, using my own mother’s words: Do not become too full of yourselves. If your enthusiasm overrides your reason, your message will be lost in a cacophony of ideas and mixed metaphors.
The United States of America today is in deep, deep trouble. This is not the nation I grew up in, in the 1950s. It is not the nation I returned to as a young Air Force Sergeant in the mid-1960s. While so much progress has been made in these remaining, years, a lot also has been given up. For the average politician, including your very own Marco Rubio, the party and self have become far more important than country. That fact is both a travesty and a tragedy. The soul of America has been sold out.
In order to resurrect our nation’s soul, and to redeem our Republic, will require young folk such as you to work diligently, vigorously and even militantly to bring us back from the breach. Our nation is owned by corporate interests and special interests that all too often do not hold high the value of our nation: The people. We the people, you and I and all the rest, form this great Union. Our Union has been under massive assault for several decades. I am among the first to admit that my generation has created a bit of a mess.
I urge and encourage each of you to stay your course. Organizations such as the NRA and certain corporations await the day when your interest and enthusiasm wane. They look forward to the day when your priorities change; when your desire for a better and more reasoned America gives way to your education and your careers. That is precisely how my generation got seduced. All the while we were following the “American Dream”, they were assuring that dream would never be fully realized.
By and large, the people of our nation are truly good people; no matter their race, religion, nationality, color or sexual orientation. America has long been called the “melting pot” of the world. There are those who want to reduce that to one race, one ethnicity. That is NOT who we are. I am asking each of you to seize the day, “Carpe diem!”, and restore our great nation to her rightful course!
A PROUD U.S. AIR FORCE VETERAN
“Every Man of Courage is a Man of His Word.”
Member, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution